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  • Leigh Whannell
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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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The Invisible Man: Can it Stand Out?‎
Photo via imdb .com  © 2020 Universal Pictures

Adaptations can either be a repetitive derivative or can present a new direction that makes it stand out. Can The Invisible Man’s latest adaption stand out?

The Invisible Man follows Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) as she finally escapes the grasp of her abusive, rich boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Now living with police officer friend, James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter, Cecilia is slowly trying to rebuild her life, even if her trauma hinders her from stepping out of the house, even to get the mail.

When the news of Adrian’s death breaks, all should be well, yet it seems that it isn’t the case; Cecilia discovers that Adrian has found a way to become invisible and that he is using this ability to terrorise her. Of course, no one believes her, so now she can only rely on herself to escape the invisible man.

The feature is not the first adaptation of HG Wells’ classic sci-fi horror novel. There have been multiple versions, starting in 1933, so the plot is not exactly innovative. But the new film successfully reshapes the story and pivots away from its predecessors with the relationship premise. The Invisible Man is able to explore the dynamics of abusive relationships, the abusive partner’s manipulative techniques, and people’s reactions to the victim.

Also, the feature manages to build the proper suspense that creates the horror factor of The Invisible Man, and even though that horror would be much more applicable to women, there is no doubt that men will feel it too.

The main issue with the film, however, is its inconsistency in offering suspense, especially that there are a couple of scenes involving Cecilia and the invisible man that seem very cartoonish.

Elisabeth Moss gave a subtly strong performance that expressed the pain of being in an abusive relationship, without overdramatising her role. Oliver Jackson-Cohen had a minimal role since he is invisible most of the time, so his scenes did not properly portray the charisma and intelligence of Adrian’s character.

With a twist in the ending and captivating suspense, this adaptation of The Invisible Man stands out enough for you to buy the movie ticket.

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The Lodge (2019) and Brahms: The Boy II (2020)

360 Tip

Armie Hammer and Alexander Skarsgard were the studio's top choices for the titular role.

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