Written and directed by Leigh Whannell. A woman leaves her abusive partner, unexplained occurrences make her look mentally unstable, and she is left to expose him and his ability to be invisible. Running time 2 hours 4 minutes.
An ocean front mansion. Cecelia (Elisabeth Moss) decides she must escape her abusive husband so she quietly slips out of bed, gets her things, and makes her way to the garage. Along the way, she sees a mysterious contraption but has to keep going before her husband finds out she’s leaving. She accidentally bumps a car sounding the alarm and starts running as fast as she can to the road. She makes it, but not before her husband catches up to her as her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) finally arrives to pick her up.
Emily takes Cecelia to their police friend’s house for her to lay low. James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid) do all they can to help Cecelia recover from her abusive past. After some time, Emily shows back up to give Cecelia the news that her husband has killed himself over her leaving. Despite not wanting anything from her husband, Cecelia accepts the beginning of her inheritance from her late husband’s estate–with one catch. She’s not allowed to commit any crimes or be committed for mental instability.
Weird things begin to happen at James’ house. The stove burner catches fire, the covers are pulled off during the night, and Cecelia begins to feel like she’s being watched. At one point, it appears Cecelia slaps Sydney but despite Cecelia claims of not doing it–and the long standing friendship between them all–James and Sydney leave Cecelia there alone. Cecelia then figures out–after a brief struggle and bit up in the attic–her husband is not dead and he’s been wearing a special suit which makes him invisible! Cecelia goes to her old home and searches for the suit as evidence. She finds one and hides it for later.
Cecelia then goes to meet with Emily in a public restaurant- who is angry with her after receiving a hateful email–which Cecelia didn’t write–but just as Cecelia is explaining to Emily about her husband having an invisible suit and hurting people—Emily’s throat is cut and the knife pushed into Cecelia’s hand. Cecelia gets taken to a mental institution where she finds out she is pregnant and her husband’s brother Tom (Michael Dorman) was in on it the whole time. Tom tells Cecelia everything can go back to normal if she agrees to go back to her husband and have the baby.
Just after Tom leaves, Cecelia can feel her husband in the room so she takes a pen she stole from Tom and jams it into her wrist in an act of suicide to bait her invisible husband. It works and she jams the pen into his suit making it flash on and off. She fights with him and eventually gets him into the hallway where security guards and orderlies fight with him.
Cecelia escapes the mental institution but so does her husband. It starts to rain and a cat and mouse sequence ensues with her alternatively hiding from and hunting her husband so she can kill him. He gets away but no before telling her he’s going after James and Sydney. Cecelia rushes to James’ house to find James and Sydney in a battle with her invisible husband. Cecelia sprays him with a fire extinguisher to reveal his shape and they shoot him until he falls dead. When they pull the mask, Tom is revealed to be the invisible man.
The police find Cecelia’s husband Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) tied up and hidden in his house making it look like Tom was the mastermind but Cecelia doesn’t buy it. Cecelia decides to trap Adrian and get a confession from him so she calls him to meet with her. She gets dressed up and when Adrian doesn’t say what she wants to hear, she excuses herself, puts on the invisible suit she hid, and makes it look on the security footage like Adrian cuts his own throat. Then she comes back, sees Adrian, and calls 911. James, who has been listening in, confronts her but lets Cecelia go anyway.
What I Liked
I like Elisabeth Moss. She takes on complex roles and pushes herself to fully experience the best and worst of a character.
The special effects. These were done by having Adrian in a green suit and then removing him from each scene. It made everything look more real than suspending people with cables and such.
The basics of the story line were interesting to move a story involving an invisible man; although, I have major issues with the way they did it which I’ll explain in a minute.
The overall intensity was fairly good even with the predictability factor which I think it mainly because of Elisabeth Moss. I really liked the scene with Emily in the restaurant when she gets killed because it was the only moment I did not see coming.
What I Wished Was Better
The title implies the story is about an invisible man except it isn’t. I think I would’ve liked it better told from his perspective somehow. Here’s this macho control freak invention genius who can’t come to grips with his wife leaving so he fashions an invisible suit to terrorize her. Now THAT I would like! It would be like watching two cars about to crash over and over and not being able to stop it or warn anyone…
The abused wife trope where she hides out at a friend’s and no one “knows” where she is except…EVERYONE. Am I supposed to think Adrian, with all his money, isn’t having her sister followed or doesn’t know James exists? Feigning death is the ultimate booby trap trick to pull her out of hiding? Please.
Also, James is like 6 feet tall with very distracting arm muscles. He, nor any of the other male cops/security guards/males in general, can’t fight against the invisible man but Cecelia can? Please.
James, Sydney, and Emily all support her UNTIL…I’m supposed to believe they would turn on her that quick? Please. I expect people who don’t know her and what she’s been through to think she’s crazy but these three? No.
In the mental hospital, Tom tells Cecelia if she goes back to Adrian and has the baby, he’ll make all the legal stuff go away. He has THAT much power? People have been murdered, beat up, shot, etc…and he can make it go away? No. Also, if Adrian was so wealthy and major in whatever business he had, why is her inheritance only $5 million? What happens to the rest of his estate? Shouldn’t she get the house, too? Move back in…you know…where he’s secretly living?
A couple of scenes which irritated me (more than the others). She’s up in the attic and finds her architect book, a phone, etc. She hears him behind her so she goes and drops a can of paint on his head through the attic hole. Great! Except when she climbs down, there’s NO PAINT on the walls or on the floor for him to leave footprints and he manages to “wash” himself off in sink leaving paint in the sink BUT NOWHERE ELSE near the sink? Omg. And the mental institution, the gouging in her wrist looked pretty cool until it didn’t. She would’ve bled a fairly good amount in real life and there’s NOT ONE DROP OF BLOOD ANYWHERE on anything. Not her clothes, not the invisible suit after she fights with him, not the floor after the orderly tries to subdue her. Nowhere. It barely trickles down her arm. No. The mental institution isn’t much of a lock down situation either. She gets out pretty easily and spends quite a bit of time running in the parking lot before managing to get away. Um, no. Okay, the end scene–not the part where she kills him while wearing the suit. The part when she basically confesses to killing him while wearing the suit and James lets her go. Also, the dog. OBVIOUSLY he’s still alive. WHO ELSE would be feeding the dog?????
Chuck your brain out the window if you want to enjoy watching this movie. Elisabeth Moss is great, yeah, but she’s the only reason to watch it and the special effects. Available at Redbox and streaming. Watch the trailer below:
Fun Facts: Shot in Australia but made to look like California.