Writer-director Leigh Whannell’s science fiction horror film is a contemporary female-centric adaptation of H. G. Wells' 1897 novel of the same name. It stars Elisabeth Moss as a domestic abuse survivor who is convinced that her abusive scientist ex-boyfriend has discovered a way to make himself invisible, and that he's stalking her after faking his own death and leaving her a sizable part of his fortune. Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Aldis Hodge co-star.
Director's journey with Leigh Whannell
English SDH subtitles
Feature commentary with writer/director Leigh Whannell
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I've said it countless times in reviews for the likes of 2009's Friday the 13th, Ryan Coogler's Creed and the Safdie Brothers' Good Time, but I'll say it again as one can glean very early on that there has been tremendous care and a deep pride taken in crafting writer/director Leigh Whannell's (Upgrade) re-interpretation of the H.G. Wells story, The Invisible Man, and we know this due simply to the way in which the title sequence is conveyed. Do I wish Whannell and co. might have saved the main title until after the breathtakingly tense opening sequence? Absolutely, but does this take away from the fact Whannell pays homage to the 1933 adaptation starring Gloria Stuart by opening on such a classic horror setting as a stormy night in a mansion perched upon a hill as the falling rain outside gives only the slightest hint of light in the dark (almost as if the film were in black and white) as the rain drops begin to outline text across the screen? No, no it does not. Not at all. And have no fear, for the entirety of this review will not consist of how well this little touch of brilliance sets the table for everything that comes after, but know that everything that comes afterward is all nearly as brilliant. 2020's The Invisible Man is both a product of its time in that it casts Elisabeth Moss in the lead as a suppressed, but capable woman stuck in an abusive, controlling relationship who-even when she escapes her brutal fiancé (The Haunting of Hill House’s Oliver Jackson-Cohen)-has a difficult time accepting this freedom due to the nature of her life as it was with him and of course, her worst fears come to be realized when she not only senses that Adrian is still alive after it's been reported he killed himself, but through how he terrorizes Moss' character by slowly cutting ties with every person in her support system and painting her as the one who has lost her mind. This is what makes The Invisible Man so frightening as the film itself is not necessarily "scary", but it’s a critical look at manipulation and the power this allows not only for one person to have over another, but how this power spreads to other people’s perception of you leaving one with their own self-doubts despite knowing deep down they aren’t the crazy one. Adrian is a master manipulator who gaslights Moss' Cecilia to the extent that, as a viewer, your frustration is boiling over by the time Whannell reaches his third act; not to mention the shock and rawness through which the director has executed this psychological breakdown given the rather fantastical elements of the scenario. In short, The Invisible Man might not break any new ground as far as story or scares go, but it does what it intends so well that it's difficult to deny the effectiveness of the monster or the message.
The Invisible Man can hide nothing on the UHD format. The native 4K 2160p/Dolby Vision UHD presentation improves upon the companion 1080p Blu-ray in every way, most immediately and very obviously in the opening dozen or so minutes in darkness where black level depth is greatly enhanced, finding a tangible add to density while improving shadow detail and even object sharpness in extreme low light. Noise management is improved in low light, too; check out a scene around the 33-minute mark when Cecilia believes there's an invisible man in the bedroom. Not only does the scene demonstrate far greater command of it black levels and details, noise is reduced from moderately troublesome on the Blu-ray to nearly non-issue on the UHD. Betterments to sharpness and color rendition alike prove obvious along the way both watching the film in isolation and while conducting some choice A-B comparisons with the 1080p/SDR presentation. Overall color depth improvements are quite striking. Well-lit scenes are obviously where this is most evident to the broader palette. Look at a sequence in chapter seven when Cecilia and James meet with Adrian's brother, Tom (Michael Dorman). Skin tones are more flush, eyes pop with more realistic intensity, the backgrounds sparkle with improved depth, and yes, even Tom's black suit jacket finds another gear of depth (blacks really are a big selling point in the UHD's Dolby Vision favor). The scene is also a prime example of the UHD's adds to overall clarity. Skin definition is more intimate, elements better defined, and the scene in general just appears more clear and brilliant. Such holds true throughout. At every opportunity and in every light, the UHD takes the image's foundational excellence from the 1080p version and only amplifies it in a positive way, bringing out richer colors and superior clarity. It's well worth the upgrade.
Didn't know what to expect when I saw this in a theater. It was much different from the original movie that came out decades ago. I don't know if this was supposed to be part of Universal's, Dark Universe or not but this updated version was pretty good. I tend to like the Universal Monster movies to be set in the Victorian age so to me, their decision to modernize then is questionable as it takes the atmosphere of that period of time away. The Cruise, Mummy had no charm nor atmosphere. I liked this movie though.
The Invisible Man features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The opening sequence positively sets the mood for the rest of the track, delivering a powerful series of waves rushing rear to front through the stage, crashing on a rocky place further forward. As the scene shifts inside a home, the aquatic power is heard at distance, full and wonderfully detailed, organic in movement and not lacking in proper power for its location. The track offers several intense effects throughout that each yield superb definition and depth, including a handful of gunshots heard later in the film. Music enjoys superb clarity. It's energetic, intense, spread fully along the front and folding in hearty, immersive rear channel support. In chapter 12 at the 79 minute mark, there's a sense of hard-edged musical movement around the listener, one of the many high score points from throughout the film. Discrete overhead use does not come regularly, but a few good examples of note are in evidence, including heavy falling rain in the third act that not only envelops the listener but seems to pour from above. Less intense atmospherics are finely integrated, too, always drawing the listener into any and every locale. Dialogue is clear and well defined from its natural front-center home.
I would recommend this film to everyone I know, such a solid thriller and well casted, truly one of my favourites!!
This movie was a great thriller. It really does hit a core fear and problem that does happen. It's a story of an abusive relationship on steroids. I hope that the women who see this get the message and choose their partner carefully and if they are in an abusive relationship find the courage from this movie to get the help to get out. The idea of the invisible man and how he did it was very plausible. It is not a remake of the movie Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue did years back. if you have PTSD from abusive relationships you might avoid this movie. I did jump in a few spots which is great for a thriller. I hope you all enjoy.
If you like a movie that will keep you in suspense and make your legs jump, then this is the movie for you. There are scene's that will really make you jump, scream, and totally leave you in shock. I have watched this movie several times now and I am still picking up on little things that I did not notice before. I highly recommend this movie on 4K