Invisible Man, you can see it [Critique]

Leigh Whannell “upgrades” the myth of the invisible man into a post-MeToo fable. The idea is clever but the result rather agreed.

In theaters February 26, 2020 , Invisible Man will be broadcast this Friday on Canal +, as part of their blockbusters evening. Is this horror film worth the detour? Here is our review, originally published when it was released in theaters. You can also find an interview here its lead actress, Elisabeth Moss, as well as producer Jason Blum and director Leigh Whannell.

Invisible Man director to direct Ryan Gosling in Wolfman

Universal having, since the flop of The Mummy, drawn a line on the “Dark Universe” project (a shared universe of legendary monsters), the reboot project of The invisible Man with Johnny Depp, buried in the wake, is reborn today from its ashes under the Blumhouse flag. The angle of attack? A post-MeToo modernization, undoubtedly a little opportunistic (Jason Blum was recently criticized for his hazardous remarks on the lack of appetite of female directors for horror cinema) but not at all silly in his remarks. The faithful Leigh Whannell (co-creator of the saga Insidious) therefore seizes on the myth of the invisible man to use it as a malignant allegory of sexual predation, toxic masculinity and, by extension, the invisibilization of women in a patriarchal society. Of course, we have known since Hollow Man by Paul Verhoeven that the invisible man is an infrequent type, but the idea here is to reverse the perspective, and tell the story from the point of view of the heroine. In this case, a beaten woman who runs away from the marital home, hopes to find rest after learning of the death of her husband, but will soon be tormented by said husband, not dead at all in reality and now endowed with invisibility. (he’s a super-scientist living in a hi-tech house by the sea). Of course, everyone will take her for crazy and she will have to fight, alone, against the grip of this particularly sticky narcissistic pervert. Elisabeth Moss, headliner, thus continues a filmography of perfect coherence, almost entirely dedicated to the feminist struggle, started on TV with Mad Men, Top of the Lake and The Handmaid’s Tale and now ready to take the box office by storm.

The nights with his enemy
But if the concepts agitated here are eminently modern and totally in tune with the times, the film in reality looks especially like an update of the thrillers of domestic persecution which abounded in the beginning of the 90s, in the wake of Fatal Binding, type Window on Pacific Where Nights with my enemy. A nineties unexpected aroma, not necessarily unpleasant moreover, hovers over these scenes where Moss is pursued by this invisible specter, a series of sequences of blind terror quite agreed but rather effective. However, the project quickly reveals its thematic indecision when we understand that the character who really inspires the director is not so much the hunted woman as the predator, shown as a species of increased overpowered man, in the tradition of his previous film, Upgrade– Whannell gives all he has in a scene of carnage in a mental hospital that pays less to HG Wells than to James Cameron of Terminator 2. Too bad moments like this, highly entertaining, are too rare in a film with a flat rhythm, without juice, and which never quite manages to keep the promises of its pitch.

Hollow Man: The invisible evil of Paul Verhoeven twenty years later

Leave a Reply