With zero resemblance (other than an invisible man of course) to previously titled books and movies of the same name, “The Invisible Man” made its own place amongst the future greats of media entertainment through its twistingly good tale of psychological torture by an invisible narcissistic stalker.

Elisabeth Moss’s performance as protagonist Cecilia Kass throughout the film will likely ensure “The Invisible Man’s” place as a contender for best thriller of the year. Moss sells every shot so well one has to ask what kind of toll that takes on her. This isn’t Moss’s first rodeo playing a psychologically tortured individual, but her talent is unique to the genre.

“The Invisible Man” was released Fri. Feb. 28, 2020 and gave a resounding call that the less-than-quality film’s dumped onto January and February every year must be drawing to an end.

Leigh Whannell blows the realism out of the park with camera angles, directional sound effects and seamless flow in his third written/directed film. Whannell and Moss work together well. Whannell’s ability to capture the audience through both sight and sound and Moss’s ability to give the crowd “the feels” by connecting to the audience emotionally and with physical prowess, sells the audience on the protagonist’s struggles combatting an invisible villain.

Moss puts so much emotion behind her acting you feel her character as she struggles, makes progress, falls again, gets knocked into a wall, or feints from the reality of what’s going on around her sinks in. When she’s not being listened to, you don’t just see the fear and frustration in her, you hear it, and you feel it.

The film enters a large seaside manor which sets the tone immediately. Adrian (Oliver Jackson), our protagonist, is rich, possessing dozens of watches, designer clothes and technology. The home looks eerily like a dungeon inside with its various beams and polls and when Moss attempts to leave we discover a wall surrounding the property that would almost make Trump proud.

Moss’s character drugs the protagonist, her husband, forcing him to sleep while she goes forward with a clearly thought-out escape plan. She grabs her hidden cargo and makes it for the door trying so desperately to be quiet, but the audience can hear her every breath – Whannell’s genius. Moss displays emotional turmoil off the get-go and makes evident her character’s unsurety of what would happen if Adrian woke up and she was caught.

Our protagonist’s fearful nature shows more fully when we fast forward to her staying with long-time friend and cop James Lanier (Aldis Hodge). She hasn’t left the house in weeks and checks every corner regularly, her eyes darting continuously. Her depression sinks in as she refuses to get out of bed.

Then, everything changes when Adrian is reported dead and she inherits lots of money. Though still wary, her confidence clearly grows. She starts leaving the house a little at a time and eventually decides to attempt employment in her studied field of architecture.

The moment things seem happy, strange things begin to happen; her folder is empty upon her interview, a blanket slowly makes its way off her and James’ daughter in the middle of the night (playing to the crowd) and then footprints can be seen holding the thing on the ground. 

After a specific list of events Cecilia begins losing her mind (Moss does this fantastically) feinting and lashing out. No one believes her, even her best friend James thinks she’s just experiencing a type of post traumatic stress disorder. By the end of the movie however, we see a strong, confident Moss emerge, giving face to women who’ve overcome similar abusive relationships.

Non-simplistic in its plot nor its story development, “The Invisible Man” does seem to linger around scenes a little long at times. The time spent in specific moments help build suspense, but for some the drawn-out scenes may slow everything down a little too much. However, if you take your time and are patient with the film, Moss’ performance is well worth witnessing.

Opening weekend was a smashing success for “The Invisible Man”. Made on a low budget of $8 million, the movie grossed $29 million in the U.S. alone. Internationally, the film made $49 million.

Strong bloody violence and adult language make the film reasonably rated R. The film does not however have any sexual content.

The film’s trailer falsely sets up viewer’s expectations. In a genre that’s so typically predictable, “The Invisible Man” is a breath of fresh air. For a sci-fi thriller that’s sure to keep you on the edge guessing what’s next; and for a film that’s sure to give you some jumps and spike your adrenaline, “The Invisible Man” is highly recommended.