The Invisible Man. Photo Credit: memphisflyer.com

 

By Joseph Javits

Elisabeth Moss gives a great performance. Photo Credit: memphisflyer.com
Not all creepy and disturbing things are visible. “The Invisible Man,” directed by Leigh Whannell and produced by Jason Blum, is a horror film. Cecilia Kass, played by Elizabeth Moss, is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Adrian Griffin, a brilliant optics engineer, played by Oliver-Jackson Cohen. In the opening scene, Kass drugs Griffin with Diazepam and escapes his clutches, finding refuge at the home of her childhood friend James Lanier, a police detective played by Aldis Hodge of “Straight Outta Compton” fame.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Griffin was both mentally and physically abusive. Kass describes him as a dictator. He controlled when she could leave the house, what she wore, what she ate, what she could say and, eventually, her thoughts. If he assumed she was thinking something he didn’t like, he would hit her.
Two weeks after her escape, Lanier informs Kass that Griffin has committed suicide. He shows her a photo of him dead in his bathroom with slit on his wrists. Knowing Griffin, Kass wonders why he would kill himself, but feels a sense of relief that he is gone and carries on with her life.
However, it is not over. Whannell planned to prep his audience by dropping hints throughout the film. Strange things start to happen. When Kass is alone, she hears things. Objects fall, a kitchen fire erupts and the front door mysteriously swings open. Kass quickly becomes paranoid. She remembers what Griffin once told her. “He said to me that wherever I went, he would find me, walk right up to me, and I wouldn’t be able to see him.” She begins to realize that his death is a hoax and that he has used his optics expertise to become invisible to haunt her. Her paranoia leads to a constant barrage of anxiety and trepidation that surpasses any of her visible bruises.
“The Invisible Man” provides the audience with plenty of heart-pounding moments. Whannell does a terrific job giving us a taste of what it’s like being trapped in the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic. He makes us question our mental state. Throughout the movie, Whannell and Blum do a splendid job showing us that despite being “dead,” Griffin still has a strong mental hold on Kass that can not be easily broken.

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