Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Invisible Man (2020)

Cecilia doesn’t start the movie in a good place.  She’s escaping from her boyfriend’s house with the help of her sister, Emily.  The next we see of Cecelia, she’s living with her friend, James, and his daughter Sydney.  It’s not optimal.  Cecilia and Sydney have to share a bed.  She also can’t bring herself to leave the house.  Even getting to the curbside mailbox is daunting.  However, she’s not with abusive Adrian.

Her only relief comes when she gets news that Adrian is dead.  This bothers her for two reasons.  One, Adrian shouldn’t have her address.  Only James, Sydney and Emily should know.  Secondly, Adrian was a narcissist.  News that he committed suicide doesn’t make sense.

The estate is handled by Tom, who we learn is Adrian’s brother.  He won’t contest the will, but there are provisions.  Cecilia gets millions of dollars to be paid over the course of several years, provided she doesn’t commit a crime.  Easy enough.  Right?

Well, the camera pans several times over the next few scenes to let us know that someone might be there.  A stove burner that reignites is also a good clue.  Cecilia becomes paranoid that Adrian has either returned from the grave or found a way to fake his death.

It’s not far-fetched, but she does come across as just a little paranoid.  Adrian was an optics expert and could have designed an invisibility suit.  It’s hard to believe, mostly because she’s hysterical from fear at this point.

As the movie’s title would indicate, she’s not really imagining things.  As the saying goes, you’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you.  Adrian may very well have faked his own death to get back at the woman who left him.

I’d say that, with the exception of the invisibility suit, the movie is played realistically.  Cecilia is a woman operating out of fear.  You might think that a smoke generator or some sort of mist might work to her advantage.  The best she gets is a can of paint and some coffee grounds.  I also realize that it would be difficult to pull off in the long term.  (Also, it’s not like most people have smoke generators lying around.)

The reactions of James, Sydney and Emily are believable.  If someone I knew were to come to me saying that an invisible person was following them around and trying to harass them, I’d absolutely be suspicious.

There aren’t a lot of twists here.  You know that James, Sydney and Emily are going to be likely targets for Adrian.  It’s just a question of how and when.  The movie focuses instead on Cecilia and her emotional state.

To have an invisible man is actually perfect.  It’s all about Cecilia’s emotional state.  It’s clear that Cecilia is abused.  She at least has the support of a sister and a friend.  Not everyone is that fortunate, though.  (Imagine having to go through what Cecilia did while still living with Adrian.)

The pacing was perfect.  The fear and tension was subdued, but not slow.  I never felt like I was bored.  While I kind of knew where the invisible man might strike, I was never sure of the exact details until they happened.  Even knowing that Adrian likely didn’t fake his death, it was also possible that he had someone else terrorize Cecilia.  (Granted, it’s not likely, but it is possible.) This was definitely one of the better movies I’ve seen lately.


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