Elizabeth Moss, who has already demonstrated her emotional intensity in The Handmaid’s Tale, stars in this year’s reboot of The Invisible Man series (1933), which is based on the 1897 novel by H. G. Wells. However, the only connection between the two seems solely the presence of the titular invisible man, and the name ‘Griffin’. Instead, the story follows Cecilia Kass (Moss) as she escapes an abusive relationship with wealthy scientist Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), only to be haunted by the memory of him, and maybe something more?
The film explores the isolation that one can feel when dealing with mental illness
After Cecilia leaves Adrian, she takes refuge with her childhood friend, James (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter Syd (Storm Reid). She begins to experience symptoms of anxiety, unable to leave the house to get the mail, jumping when someone knocks at the door, until she receives news that Adrian has committed suicide, leaving her $5 million. For a brief moment she feels free, yet it doesn’t last long, as Cecilia soon begins to experience strange goings on, portrayed with chilling camerawork and numb music, leaving her labelled as crazy by those around her. The film explores the isolation that one can feel when dealing with mental illness well, especially when the whole world doesn’t believe that your dead ex-boyfriend has found a way to become invisible and is stalking you.
In the age of #MeToo, Leigh Whannell has created a new emancipatory tale using the character of the invisible man as a metaphor for the seemingly tangible baggage that an abusive relationship has, even after one has escaped from it. Despite its sometimes unrealistic behaviours from secondary characters and slightly irritating drilling in that Cecilia’s nickname is ‘C’, it is still an important film to watch, and is truly unnerving.
Rating: 4/5 stars