After a botched attempt by Universal to launch their cinematic Dark Universe, it’s only fitting for the natural course correction to be a modern retelling of a classic monster movie that manages to be straightforward, effective, and surprisingly relevant. It’s been well-documented on this blog how much I love the horror genre and particularly slow-burns, so I’m pleased to report that The Invisible Man embraces patience in an attempt to build atmosphere and paranoia as opposed to being a full-throttle gore fest from the get-go. It’s the type of movie that invites you into the headspace of its protagonist (anchored by a great Elizabeth Moss), searching every corner of the frame for what may or may not be there, and it’s an effective premise even if the effect does wear thin at times. This is ultimately a movie about the effect of trauma in an abusive relationship, and it’s a modern angle that might feel unexpected but one that complements the movie very well, particularly when it culminates in an ending that genuinely surprised me both in its cleverness and restraint to tie everything up in a perfect bow.
At the same time, I feel like the movie lacks anything similar to the opening credits from Rosemary’s Baby that instantly sets the tone and make you uncomfortable, meaning this the rare case where I found the slow-burn to not be as interesting or engaging as the pay-offs and setpieces that occur later in the movie. Still, once the movie gets going it really gets going, becoming a bit more ridiculous but also a lot more fun as Upgrade director Leigh Whannell has a blast choreographing action and utilizing camera movements. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for a good horror movie or a hidden gem in the desolated field of February releases, so don’t pretend it’s invisible and be sure to check it out if you’re interested.