It seems oddly fitting that The Invisible Man should be released mere days after the conviction of sex offender Harvey Weinstein. Once part of the ill-fated ‘Dark Universe’, now in the hands of director Leigh Whannell, this is unmistakably a #MeToo horror movie; and a damn scary one, at that. Take away the see-through spectre of the title (whose origin is given a wickedly clever modern update) and it still succeeds as an almost unbearably tense exploration of abuse, gaslighting and toxic masculinity.

The fact that our protagonist, Cecilia, is played by Elisabeth Moss certainly helps. As a veteran of the Republic of Gilead, this is the kind of role she was born to play: where a lesser performer might have taken bigger bites out the scenery, she sells the reality of a woman struggling to regain control through smaller, more intimate moments and details. By contrast, her abuser Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) feels inhuman even before he turns invisible. No need for defining characteristics here – we’ve seen far too many of his type before, and we’ll undoubtedly see them again.

Horror fans will probably spot the scares a mile off, but the presentation sells it. Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is suitably creepy, while Stefan Duscio’s camerawork lingers on negative space and invites us to peer into seemingly empty corners. Whannell has fun ramping up the tension in the first hour, but he’s clearly most comfortable when letting loose for a third act filled with bone-crunching violence and swooshing cameras. He certainly earns his finale, tipping into wish fulfillment that’s as ludicrous as it satisfying.

It’s hard to imagine a film that feels more of the moment than The Invisible Man. Smart and scary in equal measure, it sets the new gold standard for remaking classic horror properties.



CAST: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Storm Reid, Aldis Hodge, Harriet Dyer

DIRECTOR: Leigh Whannell

WRITERS: Leigh Whannell (screenplay), H.G. Wells (based on the novel by)

SYNOPSIS: When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.