Leave it to Leigh-fucking-Whannell to find a clever way to reinvent an old trope. The same bastard who reinvented the horror-noire with ‘Saw’ and the haunted house trope with ‘Insidious’, this film just shines with brilliance.
A woman runs away from her home – trying to escape from her abusive lover. We aren’t told this in the beginning, but the clues are there like bread crumbs. She gets away, and hides for her life. After sometime, she is told that her (ex)lover has killed himself… but she doesn’t buy it. He’s rich and brilliant… and she knows that seems out of character.
For half of the film, we share her paranoia. Leigh uses the negative open space of the house to make us hold our breath and stare in anticipation. The camera lingers on a shadow on the wall and we watch it, wondering if it’s moving. And there isn’t much concrete evidence of anything really being wrong – until handprints appear in the steam on the shower door. Until her cell phone begins emailing important messages to the wrong people. And then things only get worse.
With the title being ‘The Invisible Man’, there isn’t a great surprise to what is exactly happening. Instead, we get the joy of learning why these things are happening. Modern (and slightly futuristic) technology help sell the reality of the situation, and it has a lot of scares. There’s an excessive amount of silence and still frames that make you hold your breath and scream all at the same time. It’s a very fun ride and I was so pleasantly surprised… but what more would you expect from one of the most original and clever writers today.
‘The Invisible Man’ is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra