I was so looking forward to this modern spin on an age old tale. The trailer excited me and so did Elisabeth Moss in the central role of Cecilia, an abused wife running for her life. But it just didn’t do it for me and I’m actually surprised it’s got such a high IMDB rating and consistently positive reviews. There was a round of applause at the end of our screening, while I was just happy to get out of there.

The Invisible Man (2020)

When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

*Minor spoilers*

There’s are a few positives. The premise is fresh and topical – gas-lighting and domestic abuse sadly being nothing new but how interesting to take the concept of gas-lighting and tying it into the paranoia felt by our protagonist? What if she’s spent her whole married life being made to feel like she’s crazy and then has to justify the theory that she’s being stalked by an invisible man, her dead husband no less? It’s brilliant.

But it gets really convoluted and the pacing is completely off – the opener is so tense and the aftermath genuinely eery – but then it drags on and on. And while Moss does her best, I feel like there’s a lot of reliance on her acting skills to make a good film. A couple of the cast are really bad and there are moments where the special affects really grate. I like that the marital home is reminiscent of the home in Sleeping with the Enemy (surely deliberate?).

I don’t know, maybe I’m being too critical and I’ve missed something but this was a disappointment and I was glad when it finished, which it did in the most dramatic, OTT fashion. I sense we were supposed to whoop with joy for Cecilia who finds herself finally free but I was too tired by then and kind of mad it took her so long to rescue the family dog.

2.5/5

What are you watching?