Quarantined Cinema: The Invisible Man
So now that we're all under quarantine except for the idiot thrill seekers out there who lack common sense, we decided to go to the Movies, as in renting a recent theatrical release.
"Bloodshot"? Despite being the first movie based on a Valiant Comic, was not an option. besides the missus doesn't care for Superhero movies aside from Man of Steel and maybe, just maybe Captain Marvel. So I guess that leaves us with the highly praised Invisible Man. Is it worth the price of admission? Well, let's find out!
Written and Directed by Leigh Whannell, Blumhouse's remake of the Invisible Man adds a different approach on the classic Universal protagonist or dare I say, antagonist!
Instead of the titular character being the center of attention, the narrative of this remake focuses heavily on Cecilia Kass (played by Elizabeth Moss of The Handmaiden's Tale.) who is involved in a very abusive relationship with her boyfriend Adrian Griffin a wealthy businessman who specializes in optics when not imposing his toxic behavior on poor Cecilia. After drugging Adrian, Kass makes her last-ditch effort to escape from his residence and after learning of her boyfriend's suicide, she begins to enjoy her newfound freedom. Yeah, all seems well, or does it?
As with 2018's Upgrade, Whannell once again, knocks it out of the park with The Invisible Man! It's part suspense, part slasher and most of all, a psychological thriller.
And by that statement, I'm referring to the subtle mindfuckery that Cecilia experiences in the beginning like having her blanket come off while sleeping then as the story progresses, her portfolio goes missing, a friend's daughter gets "boogerhooked" and if that isn’t enough, Cecilia is accused of murder and still, no one believes her!
Moss is very convincing as a Woman distraught and falling on the brink of insanity especially during the second arc. however, she uses her pent-up rage to fight back against the Man who she believes is still alive. The Invisible Man is not some movie riddled with antiquated scream queen clichés e.g. a female victim portrayed as dumb, clueless or waiting for some great savior to come to her aid, as in her Cop and former Brother in Law James, played by Aldis Hodge (Showtime’s City on a Hill) Instead Cecilia uses her acumen and wit in order to fend off her "now you see him, now you don't" stalker.
This suspense thriller gains further momentum during the latter act, and just when you got it all figured out, Whannell throws a curveball that most didn't see coming.
While some would be quick to assume it's another pandering ploy for female empowerment in the age of the #MeToo era, it's true but not necessarily in your face nor pandering. I would say, a well-orchestrated remake with a healthy dose of mystery and survival horror. It also unintentionally, pays a modicum of homage the psychological thrillers of old, like The Entity or better yet, Sleeping with the Enemy. (As Jim83 had previously mentioned.)
The set pieces, especially Griffin's underground lab within his complex, are visually appealing despite being shot on a modest budget but if there’s one gripe I have is in regard to the invisible stalker’s strength. But that can easily be overlooked or explained. Aside from that, it's worth the hype thanks to Elizabeth Moss who really shines throughout the film. She’s very convincing as a Woman facing dire situations with a variety of facial expressions. I was a bit skeptical of another remake yet was confident that she would stand out as she did with The Kitchen, so it's of no surprise.
If you're going to invest some spare change on an expensive rental, I highly recommend giving The Invisible Man a watch. With theaters shutting down due to this global pandemic, it’s still important to support the Motion picture industry otherwise, we’ll all forced to watch films we have seen over and over. Which may not be that bad depending on the quality of content.
With most of us being confined to staying indoors as mandated by our state officials due to COVID 19, Movie studios like Universal, Sony and so forth have recirculated their recent theatrical releases; Invisible Man, Bloodshot, The Hunt, Sonic the Hedgehog and so forth, as home streaming rentals as a means of recouping their loses in ticket sales.
As the digital age is ever increasing, it was only a matter of time, before this would come into effect. All it took was a drastic push, as in COVID-19.
There are pros and cons to this newly implemented business model that may help or hurt the motion picture industry as we know it.
Now let's weigh the advantages of watching theatrical releases at home, shall we?
- The benefits for some consumers are not having to schlep to a packed theater with a few annoying hecklers, screaming kids or people who text when bored.
- You have the option to pause when taking a bathroom break or fetching a snack without paying four dollars for a nuked hot dog or pretzel.
- $19 for the price of admission, is very tempting especially when you and close-knit family members (Assuming you're all self-quarantined together.) can watch a movie together. For a family of say, four you’re paying approximately $475. Per ticket as opposed to $19.00 per individual.
Not to mention how you're saving money on transportation, gas, concession and the most precious commodity, time!
Okay, now here’s the downside:
- Enabling moviegoers to remain homebound with less social interaction. Having a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy which may lead to diabetes and heart disease.
- Having a cheap first date night. encourages the ol "Netflix and Chill" mantra. Yes, some guys may get "lucky" as the bedroom is not far from the living room, but it's a lame methodology when talking about seduction. Where's the classic going out for a date and dining?
- It's the economy, stupid! Businesses, big or small, rely on patronage in order to sustain their livelihood and most important, “Jobs"! The employees whether they work for theaters, nearby restaurants or storefronts, must pay rent, bills and buy groceries.
- If there's less of a profit for major movie studios, there will be less and less films produced. Which also means less jobs for those within the industry.
- To make matters worse, peer to peer file sharing may further cripple the lifeblood of Movie studios especially, when so many have lost their jobs due to COVID 19.
Eventually, when things get back to normal, most will flock back to the movie houses for that irreplaceable cinematic experience.However, digital distribution might be more beneficial for less than potential blockbusters and not only independent cinema.
As for now, Disney has taken a much bolder approach by streaming the Outward and soon, Artemis Fowl for their Disney plus app, that may garner more subscribers.
Meanwhile, films like No Time to Die and Black Widow are holding off until a much latter release date once this pandemic is over. And hopefully, very soon!
What say you?