“Wherever I went, he could find me,” says unstable, terrified Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss). “He could walk right up to me, but I could not see him. He has figured out a way to be invisible. He’s not dead. Please make him stop.” Cecilia is talking about her controlling, abusive lover, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who is said to have killed himself after she escaped his fortified, secure ocean-view mansion. “He’s gone, Cecilia,” says Adrian’s brother, Tom (Michael Dorman). “I saw his body.” That’s the setup for this reimagined 1933 horror classic, “The Invisible Man.”
Is Cecilia losing her mind or is Adrian, a brilliant optics scientist, invisibly stalking her? Does anyone — her sister, friends — believe Cecilia? Will you find “The Invisible Man” scary and suspenseful? See it for answers.
As traumatized architect Cecilia Kass, Elisabeth Moss has the central role. She’s onscreen from start to finish in a film where we don’t see, obviously, the title character until (spoiler) the final act. Moss is convincing as Cecilia, who escapes her abuser and evolves from powerless victim, stalked by an unseen slasher, to a #MeToo heroine (spoiler again) capable of serious, intentional self-preservation. Aldis Hodge is Cecilia’s friend, police officer James Lanier who, with his teenage daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid), provides Cecilia protection and a place to stay. Harriet Dyer is Cecilia’s initially dubious sister, Emily, who receives an insulting e-mail from Cecilia, but learns it was actually sent by Adrian. Attorney Tom Griffin, Adrien’s brother, is played by Michael Dorman.
Others in the cast include Benedict Hardie as architect friend Marc, whom Elisabeth hopes will help her begin an overseas career. Renee Lim and Nicholas Hope are hospital staff who diagnose Diazepam overdose as the cause of Cecilia’s sudden collapse.
Leigh Whannell wrote and directed “The Invisible Man,” based loosely on the 1933 film (Claude Rains was scary Dr. Jack Griffin) and, even more loosely, on H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel. Whannell’s reboot is a contemporary tale of surviving sexual, physical and emotional abuse. In its suspenseful first 90 minutes, Cecilia is relentlessly stalked by Adrian with an unexpected kitchen fire, stolen architectural drawings, brutal physical attacks, a sudden slashing, and spooky, silent camera shots of empty rooms and open doors where, we suspect, invisible Adrian lurks. The film’s final act, however, is less successful. Its standard horror film tropes, characters and events are cluttered and difficult to follow.
Rated R for pervasive strong, bloody violence and language, “The Invisible Man” runs 124 minutes.
Cecilia’s late-night escape
From her hateful abusive mate
Sets up “The Invisible Man” —
Suspenseful flick for horror fans.