Budget: $7 Million Gross: $29 Million Domestic/ $20 Million International
When the dark universe imploded, as soon as I saw Universal Pictures’ retreat to smaller scale films with the announcement of Saw and Insidious co-creator Leigh Whannell (also the writer/ director of cult favourite Upgrade) directing The Invisible Man I thought, I get that. The movie is a small film, a natural step for a third time director who doesn’t share the same big-time filmmaking appetite of his former collaborator James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7, Aquaman). Then the trailer released and I thought the conceit was brilliant. A woman trying to get away from a tormenting abusive ex-boyfriend, a powerful unseen force… and no one believes her. It’s timely stuff which gives the film a cultural cache that will stick in the social conversation and light up the box office the same way previous Blumhouse projects like The Purge and Get Out have.
The Invisible Man is a sleek, most appropriately unflashy, and simply efficient thriller that is enlivened by textbook suspense building and a strong central performance by Elisabeth Moss, who has shown great taste in material. Over the years production company Blumhouse, led by Jason Blum (in addition to the above mentioned he also produced Paranormal Activity and Whiplash) has excelled at creating lean social thrillers. He has also learned on TV via Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects how to tell effective stories with women at the centre. Something seemingly difficult for many men in Hollywood. All of the people involved with The Invisible Man have sharpened their skills with time including effective supporting crew members like composer Benjamin Wallfisch (It, Blade Runner 2049) and cinematographer Stefan Duscio (Jungle) help build an effective atmosphere of energy that makes you feel the forward momentum of the story even when it drags in the middle or you don’t know where it’s going next. Fortunately, like any decent picture this Sci-Fi film crafts a fair number of twists and turns that will elicit strong reactions from audience members.
Rating: 7.5/10 / B-