Grackles review The Invisible Man

Directed by Leigh Whannell

Reviewed by Scott Ray and Charlie Riccardelli 

Writer/director Leigh Whannell first made his mark on the horror genre back in 2004 when he co-wrote and starred in Saw for his longtime friend and collaborator James Wan. The surprise success of that shocker launched Whannell from obscurity to the frontline of up-and-coming horror filmmakers. He wrote several Saw sequels, the Insidious movies, and even took a stab at directing with Insidious: Chapter 3 and 2018’s sci-fi thriller Upgrade. His latest, The Invisible Man, is Universal Pictures’ most recent update to one of their classic movie monsters. Originally Universal envisioned The Invisible Man as a high-budget action film starring Johnny Depp to serve as part of the Dark Universe, the studio’s answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, when the inaugural film, 2017’s The Mummy crashed on takeoff, Universal reimagined the film as a lower-budget horror film make through the studio’s cost-effective partners at Blumhouse Productions.

The Invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss as Celia, an architect living in an abusive and controlling relationship with boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). As the film opens, she’s drugged him and flees in the night to escape his physical and psychological torment. At first scared to death he’ll find her, Celia soon learns Adrian has killed himself and gifted her a multi-million dollar trust on the grounds that she never be convicted of a crime or be found mentally incompetent. But when Celia starts to suspect Adrian is still after her even though she can’t see him, she wonders if she can ever truly escape him.

Charlie Riccardelli: At several points in the movie, I kept thinking about this fantastic horror film from 1982 called The Entity. It’s about this single mother played by Barbara Hershey who one evening is raped by a person she cannot see. Despite seeking help and doing all she can to protect herself, she is besieged by the threat of this spectral nightmare while many of the people around her either don’t believe her or don’t want to face the realities of what is happening to her. As tawdry as that premise could be, The Entity is an appropriate disturbing psychodrama about abuse. While it has more of a thriller-chiller bent, The Invisible Man pulls it off too. Even better, it’s not like so many other films of the moment that has to underline the subtext for the audience. If you go in looking for a tightly-constructed horror film, you’ve found it. If you want a piercing metaphor for the ways in which people perpetrate abuse on their partners, The Invisible Man digs under your skin.

Scott Ray: I agree that this film is much more subtle than you might expect, especially if you were told the premise. Tha