Elizabeth Moss needs to be cast in more things. Okay – that’s probably not fair, as she’s got quite the extensive body of work – but her performances in recent roles have been impressive, including but not limited to Her Smell (2018), Us (2019), The Kitchen (2019), where she was definitely the highlight. The Invisible Man (2020), which is the first collaboration of the classic Universal Monsters and Blumhouse, is fantastic – and most of it falls to Moss’s performance. It is tense, human, and full of characters that you truly connect with.
The movie opens with Cecilia Kass (Moss) escaping from her boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Much of this sequence plays out in the trailer, but it was still unbelievably tense. Director Leigh Whannell sculpts this moment so perfectly that you instantly know how desperate Cecilia is to escape, and how any wrong move could put this plan into jeopardy. We learn that Adrian is a surveillance guru, and clearly very rich. Once our guard is down and Cecilia has got into her sister Emily’s (Harriet Dyer) car, Adrian abruptly appears and shatters the window as well as any real hope of true escape Cecilia has.
The movie then jumps ahead two weeks, and we see that Cecilia is still shaken, but currently free of Adrian’s grasp. She is staying with James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid). I love the scenes early in the film with the three of them, as they are generally funny and often touching. Moss’s ability to play the complex aspects of Cecilia continues to impress as the film moves from scene to scene, and her world becomes more and more complex.
Upon learning that Adrian killed himself and left her a trust that will be paid out in monthly installments, the hope that appears in Cecilia’s eyes is apparent. She never thought she could truly escape Adrian’s clutches, and as Tom (Michael Dorman) – Adrian’s lawyer and brother – fills Cecilia in on all the details, you see that glimpse of relief wash over her. However, it doesn’t take long for some presence to make itself known in her world, and the people who care about Cecilia begin to fear she’s lost her mind.
It’s the play with the invisible man idea that works so well in this version of the story. The first choice of making Cecilia the protagonist who is tortured by the genius billionaire simply works. Playing with the possibility of there being a person who is invisible and it possibly being her own paranoia manifesting adds to the unease of the situations. It’s hard to decide what to reveal in this review, as the movie is just out – but I loved most of the choices made for this rendition of the story.
If you weren’t sure about The Invisible Man, I want to settle that unease and indicate that you should definitely check this movie out. I had an absolute blast watching it, and currently believe it is the best film so far from 2020. That’s not to say there were no weaknesses, as I do believe this movie fell into the trap of padding out the runtime a little by overextending some of the tension. Luckily, it doesn’t push itself too far, and it ends in a very satisfying way. The Invisible Man earns the Must See rating.