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Review: The Invisible Man will shred your nerves, and smack you senseless.

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The Invisible Man will shred your nerves, and smack you senseless.

Surprise!? Well, not really. We should’ve expected nothing else from Leigh Whannell, who gave us one of my fave films of the last 5 years, with ‘Upgrade’.

An embargo until late last week never bodes well though, does it? I’m confident The Invisible Man will end up a textbook case for why embargo’s don’t always have to mean bad news — because this is anything but. It’s a masterful thriller, and the less you know about why the better.

Take this as your urge to go, if you didn’t have urge enough already. Bask in the delight of a cinema gasping, and losing the cocky swagger they walked in with.

The two to front of me did nothing but chat through the trailers, and generally give me zero hope in the general public. It took 30 odd seconds for them to slump in their seat once we’d started, mind. They must’ve forgotten they’d bought popcorn in, because they didn’t touch it again. Not once the best credit sequence since ‘Panic Room’ kicked in. Classy.

I enjoyed watching him especially wriggle deeper and deeper into his “over priced chair” (his words). Partly because he seemed to feel the need to keep mentioning the cost of everything to his wife/girlfriend/daughter/regretful guest. Partly because every time he crept deeper, the chair creaked a little. Normally, it would drive me nuts, but this time, it made the right-hand side of the audience jump a little. I can’t lie, a tiny part of this was because he was wearing a coronavirus mask, too. Mainly because I wish I’d thought of it.

The rest was because the whole film does a fantastic job of breaking down toxic masculinity, and sometimes I caught him looking away, even though there was no evident terror. Apart from the subtle realisation that men can be dicks, and exert control in ways they shouldn’t, in vile and insidious ways.

In one major mid-film tweak, he slumped so deep into his chair I think he ended three rows in front. His chair creaked. The audience looked over their shoulder. Tension was in the air, evidently. Whannell was crafting my dream scenarios out of it. I’m not sure he missed a beat in this film, I wish he’d taken. All of the ones I wanted him to dial-up, he did. You end up with a more mature version of ‘Hollow Man’ (not a criticism, I bloody love that film, and I’ll be watching it tonight for a nostalgia kick).

Whannell is one to watch. He’s created two phenomenal films that absolutely laugh in the face of genres. Jumping from sci-fi to thriller to horror, in such a confident way. Considering there are people that struggle to master one genre, I’d imagine he’s detested in Hollywood. In the way you’d detest someone at work or school for being infinitely better at everything you’ve ever tried to do. That’s just it, he doesn’t even look like he’s trying. The camera work, and the way he lets scenes breathe, is top tier.

At some points he swivels the camera to another corner of the room you’re in. Something might happen. Something might not. That’s the whole point and I loved it. I loved every minute.

Elisabeth Moss is sensational. Aldis Hodge is wonderful — Now with a more interesting stat than being in two ‘Die Hard’ films as different characters. Thank god Oliver Jackson-Cohen didn’t get bored of ghosts, with ‘The Haunting Of Hill House’. It’s pretty much a perfect cast.

There’s a scene where I thought: Christ. Give Whannell the next ‘Predator’. Equally, give him the next ‘Saw’ or ‘Upgrade Part II’. If I’m honest, I don’t really care. Just give him something. It’ll be awesome. To the surprise of no one at all.

Ever feel like someone is following you?

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