It’s late, night has come when you return home alone. The friction of the curtains broke the silence while the parquet creaked. According to Leigh Whannell’s new film, it might not be just anxiety, it might be the Invisible Man! Focusing on the re-adaptation of HG Wells’s cinematography, showing in our cinemas starting February 26, 2020.
“When you hear a sound you can’t find or that you feel something moving that you can’t track” Queen sang in 1989’s “The Invisible Man”. In 2020, Invisible Man comes to life on screen with the eponymous film by Leigh Whannell, screenwriter of the first film of the Saw saga, Insidious’s various works and director of the excellent thriller SF Upgrade. This re-adaptation of HG Wells’ literary work is not trivial.
In 2016, when Universal wanted to join the race for a “movie franchise”, the Invisible Man was one of the characters the production company had to let go of to build its Dark Universe. After the fiasco of The Mummy’s new reboot with Tom Cruise in 2017, this ambitious project collapsed and with it the potential to remake the original 1933 film, with Johnny Depp in the lead role. Specialist in all kinds of horror, Leigh Whannell has snatched it up, helped by BlumHouse (Get Out, Happy Birthdead, etc.) to offer a reinterpretation characterized by even more suspense.
In The Invisible Man by Leigh Whannell, The Invisible Man is not a criminal or a criminal looking to escape authority, as in the original work. Intrigue centers on Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), wife of Adrian Griffin (Olivier Jackson-Cohen), a strong and wealthy personality from the Tech world, at the forefront of advancements in optics. Clearly caught in a toxic relationship, Cecilia decides one night to escape the California home where she is being held and to break free from her husband’s psychological and physical chains.
His escape was well calculated and, despite mistakes along the way, he made it. Picked up from a cop (Aldis Hodge), a friend of his lawyer sister (Harriet Dyer), Cecilia remains terrorized by her husband and his clutches. Griffin’s obsession with wanting to control everything, he said, would catch up with him: the latter would find him and make him pay for this flight, at any cost. However, the possessive husband commits suicide.
Nightmares disappear without warning… while nightmares, which are real, manifest themselves. As her instincts dictate, Cecilia is convinced that Griffin faked his death to haunt her, literally and physically unnoticed. Manipulator to the end, Griffin will find him crazy and hurt him and those close to him to push him back to him.
The premise of The Invisible Man is a highly relevant reinterpretation of core creative material. The idea of an invisible man is a perfect parable of abuse and “stalkers.” And Leigh Whannell implements it perfectly from a narrative point of view.
Adrian Griffin, by making himself invisible, removes even more power and control from his victim, Cecilia Kass: her grip is then unrivaled. This more modern and scientific justification for the power of invisibility is also used with reflection. It also allows the antagonist to manipulate his victim and the audience as well as gives the protagonist a chance to come out with reason and logic. What’s more, the mystery, and more accurately the suspense, drifts through without a problem during a good part of the film.
In this case, if the visual achievement isn’t always outstanding, the staging is . Many scenes take a ‘stalker’ point of view or choose to show it by gazing at (not so) an empty corner of the room, leaving the protagonist aside and unfocused. Therefore, the film must sometimes approach John Carpenter’s first Halloween, which begins with a sequence that is filmed from the point of view of little Mike Myers and which, several times, filmed certain places extensively to imply a surreptitious presence from him. “ghost form”. The invisible man in Leigh Whannel’s eponymous film embodies, in his own right, a sort of evolution of the concept of “Pathetic form. A passing torch that nearly succeeds the film, however, is to be missed as it lifts the veil too early on the initial mystery and falls into many perks. script writing to get out of it.
Likewise, The Invisible Man seems to take inspiration from another classic horror film in its overall vibe: Alone in the Night. In Terence Young’s 1967 film, director of the James Bond franchise’s first film with Sean Connery, the house of a blind woman (played bynkan by Audrey Hepburn) is raided by thugs in search of loot. Heroes will therefore rely on the other four senses to find them, thwart their plans and survive.
The Invisible Man is the photographic negative of this film: the protagonist is not blind but can’t see his attacker at all, invisible. Above all, like Alone at Night, Leigh Whannell’s films play on the fear of the dark, the agony of loneliness and the terrors of the night. We experience these visual, auditory, and sometimes contact hallucinations while, alone in the light of our house, we imagine the possibilities ultimately don’t exist. The antagonist of The Invisible Man plays this phenomenon in order to make its victims think crazy and the film itself arouses the general fear of the audience to facilitate its identification with the protagonist.
The Invisible Man even manages to live up to the audience’s expectations with the last few twists, which are well thought out. However, that didn’t help the excellent Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale), who gave the feature film a fair amount of legitimacy and credibility, to shine and end on a high note. Blame the morality a little too easy and less clever than the other scenarios: to beat the manipulator, you have to be more manipulative than he is. This theory puts an end, without warning, to any sympathy the audience could feel for the daring and easily overthrown Cecilia, the undefeated strategist who had opposed her until then by being, always or nearly, one step ahead.
Also, The Invisible Man loses points for the soundtrack. Such films should play voices in silence and condense them to the viewer’s ears, and not cover them up. He had to keep the audience tense not with a riot of action, but with progressive and measured suspense. Musically, though, the film prefers to take a side of sensationalism with an over-the-top roaring tone that’s more reminiscent of Blade Runner 2049 than Halloween. If they’re relevant in some of the action scenes – including the relatively well-arranged, in the final third, reminiscent of the Upgrade style – of the film, they’re clearly too much in the tense moments.