SOUNDBITE: Moss film is a different kind of thriller

SOUNDBITE: Moss film is a different kind of thriller

courtesy universal

R rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

It’s like an unspoken rule that any horror/thriller movie that comes out in the first few months of the year are not very good. The stories are weak (I’m looking at you Gretel and Hansel) and usually do not have a major audience at this time of year. At the beginning of February, my mom messaged me and said that we had to go see a movie featuring Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men) called The Invisible Man. The trailers made the movie look like it would be highly successful,  The Invisible Man truly delivered and became one of the best movies of 2020. 

The movie is about a woman named Cecilia (Moss) who escapes from her abusive, rich, and very smart boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Cecilia, after running away, stays with a friend and is scared and traumatized, constantly waiting for Adrian to come and take her back. A scary part of this situation is that Adrian is a millionaire and is a leader in the optics world, having developed an entire suit that makes one invisible. The focus of the story is that Adrian fakes suicide after Cecilia leaves and torments her by stalking her in this suit. 

Director Leigh Whannell is famous for his work on the Saw and Insidious, so he has experience writing tense and dramatic movies that make the nerves hyperactive. The Invisible Man is a perfect example of a movie that makes use of sound, the lack of sound, music, and cinematography to make the watcher’s nerves shoot through the roof. Noises such as the couch creaking or breathing are accented by the silence, which makes audiences tense (my mom was very tense during those scenes). One of the strongest parts of this movie is its camera angles/pans. At certain times, the camera focuses on an empty space, and it makes the watcher crane his or her neck and look for movement, even though it isn’t there. It makes the watcher feel as antsy and crazy as Cecilia. 

The acting and storytelling were amazing. It was consistent and thorough, leaving me wanting more as the story progressed. Elizabeth Moss is known for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale, and she is excellent at a terrified face and acting that truly pulled me. The supporting cast is a wonderful addition, but Moss remains the core strength of the movie. The film has a run time of a little over two hours, but it certainly doesn’t feel like two hours due to equal balanced pacing and once again, the superior acting. 

As I was watching the movie, it suddenly came to me that this movie was a giant metaphor domestic abuse, PTSD, and the struggles of women. The Invisible Man introduces a physical manifestation of the trauma and stress that follows a victim of abuse and makes it real. It stalks both Cecila and the audience, makes them feel like someone is still there, and makes them feel crazy. The movie is also about overcoming the trauma. 

Even if you don’t like thrillers, The Invisible Man is worth seeing.  It’s got great acting, storytelling, cinematography, and an outstanding metaphor that really made me think. It’s fresh and worth the money.