8.5/10 After “Sonic the Hedgehog”, “Trolls: World Tour”, “Dolittle”, etc. you have no idea how relieved I was to find a recent film still in theaters that I was actually looking forward to watching. After having watched no less than ten different invisible themed films (everything from 1933’s “The Invisible Man” all the way through 2000’s “Hollow Man” and its terrible straight to DVD follow up) to get hyped for this one, theaters shut down before I could see this current adaptation. Now that some theaters have reopened, I was happy to find a theater still playing this and after watching it, I am very pleased to announce how great this film is, even if I had to wait four months to see it after its initial release date. After having watched roughly a dozen films that had an invisible man as the main character, this is the first one where I felt that the film makers properly utilized the plot in a serious manner and genuinely made me feel suspense and terror. After never having felt fear from any of those similarly themed films, this iteration had me on the edge of my seat from the very opening scene. So much of this film works so well, while seemingly making it look effortlessly done, which it obviously wasn’t as a lot of hard work was put into making this a great film. Updating the plot to actually make it believable and in no way cheesy or farfetched was extremely well done. The script gives you enough to get to know the characters and establish the plot without being overwritten and shoving in unnecessary scientific exposition or giving us too many details that would only bog things down. Just as “Hereditary” was a family drama film presented as a horror film and “Midsommar” was a break-up drama displayed in cult film fashion, this film is essentially about escaping an abusive relationship at its core, with horror elements added to it, which really worked. The tone and vibe is so well established, in large part due to Benjamin Wallfisch’s score (he co-scored the incredible “Blade Runner 2049” as well), which so far might be the best film score of every 2020 film released so far. The creepy, sinister feel that writer/director Leigh Whannell conveys with Wallfisch’s help will have you glued to the screen for the entire duration of the film. The visual effects look fantastic and will make you wonder how they filmed what they did, while making it look so real. The pacing, editing and cinematography are all top notch and the performance from our lead, Elisabeth Moss, is a fantastic one. There were some genuinely shocking moments and plot twists that not only did I not see coming, but that blew me away when they happened. There were only a few negative aspects worth mentioning but their existence will not be too detrimental to your enjoyment of this great film. The flaws include the fact that the film’s villain, the abusive Adrian, is able to always know exactly where Moss’s character, Cecilia, is at all times, even in situations where she was able to escape and flee to an unknown location. Having him always know where she was with no explanation became a little unbelievable after a while. A moment where a character’s wrist gets cut pretty deeply then has that same wrist have no blood dripping down it as that scene progresses if you look and pay close attention to it. Finally, some convenient coincidences were slightly over the top for my tastes which I won’t get into specifics due to spoilers. Minor quibbles aside, if you enjoy suspense, horror or thrillers and want a cinematic breath of fresh air, “The Invisible Man” is the perfect example of how to properly update and reboot a film for today’s audiences. I can’t wait to see what Whannell brings us next. Don’t let this film be invisible to you. Make sure you see it.
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