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With: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Michael Dorman
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
MPAA Rating: R for some strong bloody violence, and language
Running Time: 110
Date: 02/28/2020
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The Invisible Man (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

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By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With this updated take on the H.G. Wells tale, writer/director Leigh Whannell has done just about everything right, and has delivered a tense, clever thriller with touches of both horror and sci-fi.

In The Invisible Man, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) creeps out of bed, leaving behind her sleeping, drugged husband Adrian, and sneaks away from his Stinson Beach mansion. Staying with friends, police officer James (Aldis Hodge) and his teen daughter Sydney (Storm Reid), Cecilia worries that the abusive, controlling Adrian will come after her. But before long she learns that Adrian is dead, having taken his own life.

Soon accidents and other strange things begin to happen, and as they become more serious, Cecilia begins to suspect that Adrian is somehow not dead, and is able to make himself invisible. However, convincing anyone of that scenario proves difficult, especially when all the evidence of a brutal murder points toward Cecilia.

Officially a remake of James Whale's great 1933 Universal Monster movie, this version of The Invisible Man retains the idea of the invisible one being murderously psychotic, but combines it with paranoid, "falsely accused" touches right out of Alfred Hitchcock or Fritz Lang. Whannell (Insidious: Chapter 3, Upgrade) uses a widescreen frame to brilliant effect, creating suspense with large, empty spaces, and with red herrings, such as mannequins or creepy sculptures.

The movie's use of sound and music is also superb; Benjamin Wallfisch's edgy, scraping score seems to come from everywhere at once. The visual effects are also inspired, and this is the first time in an Invisible Man movie that invisibility is not created by chemicals.

Moss is another magnificent touch; not only does she give a concentrated, fully-rounded performance, but her character is fascinatingly flawed and appealingly tough. The only real flaws reveal themselves as the story comes to a head, and certain little details become just a little less air-tight. But this is easily forgivable given the fine craftsmanship in all other areas of The Invisible Man. It is worth trying to see.

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