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'The Invisible Man' Review With Casey

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Courtesy of "The Invisible Man"
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Universal Studios officially launched a new movie campaign in 2017 called Dark Universe advertising upcoming films retelling classic monster stories through a contemporary lens. This campaign began with The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, and it was one of the worst movies of 2017. The Dark Universe campaign ended as soon as it had begun.

But The Invisible Man has now offered a glimmer of possibility for this campaign thanks to the smaller boutique movie studio Blumhouse. The first film version of The Invisible Man was produced by Universal Studios and released in 1933 adapted from the H.G. Wells novel first published in 1897. This film was part of the Universal Studios' successful wave of horror stories brought to the big screen including Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), and The Wolf Man (1941). 

But this new version of the famous story, this time directed by Australian Leigh Whannel (Insidious: Chapter 3, 2015), is fresh and different because it's not focused on the invisible man. It's about his wife (Elisabeth Moss, The One I Love, 2014) desperate to escape from her abusive spouse. Shifting the narrative focus to a victimized woman veers this film into Lifetime Original Movie territory.....not exactly a great place to be. But Elisabeth Moss' controlled performance keeps the film grounded in reality. The Invisible Man is a story based in horror, but it isn't about watching the lead actress scream or run through an empty mansion in her panties. Patient shots of silent empty rooms are a simple, yet effective, way that builds unease in the viewers. The Invisible Man is a carefully tense examination of a woman coming undone and losing all the support in her life (reminding viewers there's more to be frightened of than just death). Elisabeth Moss also reminds us of the layers in successfully playing a believable, ordinary woman in a horror film. Slipping from cautious relief to itching suspicion to exhausting paranoia. 

The jump scares would have been more effective without the overzealous previews playing every 30 minutes on every TV screen in the country. And the twists are predictable, in part, because of this tidal wave of publicity. But The Invisible Man manages to remain an interesting psychological thriller that's released at an especially appropriate (but unplanned) time of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements with hundreds of real-life women fighting back for their freedoms of safety.  

The Invisible Man is not brilliant. But it's timely and entertaining for audiences. And that's plenty good for me right now.  But The Invisible Man has now offered a glimmer of possibility for this campaign thanks to the smaller boutique movie studio Blumhouse. The first film version of The Invisible Man was produced by Universal Studios and released in 1933 adapted from the H.G. Wells novel first published in 1897. This film was part of the Universal Studios' successful wave of horror stories brought to the big screen including Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), and The Wolf Man (1941). 

But this new version of the famous story, this time directed by Australian Leigh Whannel (Insidious: Chapter 3, 2015), is fresh and different because it's not focused on the invisible man. It's about his wife (Elisabeth Moss, The One I Love, 2014) desperate to escape from her abusive spouse. Shifting the narrative focus to a victimized woman veers this film into Lifetime Original Movie territory.....not exactly a great place to be. But Elisabeth Moss' controlled performance keeps the film grounded in reality. The Invisible Man is a story based in horror, but it isn't about watching the lead actress scream or run through an empty mansion in her panties. Patient shots of silent empty rooms are a simple, yet effective, way that builds unease in the viewers. The Invisible Man is a carefully tense examination of a woman coming undone and losing all the support in her life (reminding viewers there's more to be frightened of than just death). Elisabeth Moss also reminds us of the layers in successfully playing a believable, ordinary woman in a horror film. Slipping from cautious relief to itching suspicion to exhausting paranoia. 

The jump scares would have been more effective without the overzealous previews playing every 30 minutes on every TV screen in the country. And the twists are predictable, in part, because of this tidal wave of publicity. But The Invisible Man manages to remain an interesting psychological thriller that's released at an especially appropriate (but unplanned) time of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements with hundreds of real-life women fighting back for their freedoms of safety.  

Casey T. Allen is a native of Utah who graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in English in 2007. He has worked in many capacities throughout USU campus and enjoys his time at UPR to continually exercise his writing.