Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Domestic violence is front and center in this horror remake that does not disappoint.
By Lexie Macias, Valley Life Editor
Leigh Whannel’s “The Invisible Man” is a fresh take on the original horror film that captures the audience through important modern themes, thrilling music and sound that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.
“The Invisible Man” follows Cecilia Kass, who inherits the massive fortune of her controlling ex-husband, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), after he commits suicide. When Kass starts experiencing dangerous occurrences and coincidences in her daily life, she suspects her husband’s death was a hoax and that he is still trying to keep his grip on her life. Elizabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) offers an incredible performance as Kass, effortlessly bringing to life a woman who doesn’t stray from the belief that her abuser is somehow still alive and controlling her life.
As a modern retelling of the original “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells, the storyline incorporates themes that are prominent in today’s culture, such as domestic abuse and toxic masculinity. The film opens with Kass escaping from her compound-like house and her manipulative-controlling husband. It does a great job illustrating how much power and influence Griffin had over his wife’s life, and the depths he would go to in order to retain that authority.
The constant manipulation, gaslighting, abuse and fear she experiences is an accurate representation of what women face today in toxic relationships and domestic abuse. Griffin is the embodiment of toxic masculinity in today’s culture where men prefer submission and fear the independence of women.
Music and sound are key elements that keep to the horror film genre, adding more depth to the different dynamics and emotions displayed throughout the movie. From the very start of the film, the chilling music composed by Benjamin Wallfisch sets a dark and eerie tone that emphasizes the fear, paranoia and desperation that Kass is experiencing.
Certain sounds are juxtaposed with complete silence in key scenes to bring out the emotions of the audience. This is evident when Kass accidentally kicks a metal dog bowl along the tile floor as she attempts to escape her house while her husband is asleep. The amplification of the metal scraping against the floor is meant to frighten the audience as much as it did Kass in that moment, compromising her chance of escape.
The few twists and turns that take place one after another will leave viewers reeling.
Overcoming one’s abuser is another important theme that “The Invisible Man” capitalizes on that gives Kass the empowerment she has been denied for so long.
“The Invisible Man” is laden with dark and bleak themes, but a victim overcoming their abuser and gaining victory in the end is incredibly moving and inspiring to any audience.