I love the Universal Monsters. I really do. I love the old classics, I love the first two Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, I love The Mummy (2017) and I have a soft spot for The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Van Helsing. I could not be happier to be seeing them attempting to make comebacks, even if the last two efforts were…clumsy.
Of the bunch, the Invisible Man is generally one of the more forgotten classic Monsters. Which is a shame, because some of the effects of the original movie are astounding. Though at the same time, it’s understandable. The titular man…is a bit of an asshole, at least in the original story and film. His condition is self-inflicted, he turns to violence really quickly, and in general, he’s just not a good person. And as the stories became more and more about the tragedy of the monsters, even in films about stopping them, he became less appealing.
There are ways around this of course. League completely ignored the Invisible Man of the novel and comic in favor of a charming gentleman thief. And in this film, we see the Man pushed to the back, an antagonist and villain, in favor of his wife, Cecilia (played by Elizabeth Moss). The Man, Adrian in this retelling, is her abusive husband, a very wealthy and violent man who, after Cecilia escapes him with the aid of one of her friends, fakes his own death. In his will, it stipulates that she will get a total of $5 million from his estate, provided she is not proven to be mentally incompetent.
You can see where this is going. Adrian proceeds to use his newfound power to gaslight her, tormenting and torturing his ex-wife in an attempt to drive her insane. This plan…makes a certain amount of sense, but I’m not really clear on what step two was. Like, even if he can reverse becoming invisible, what’s he going to do? He’s been declared dead! How will he access his money, or get around town?
Perhaps expecting logic from a violent and sadistic narcissist is going a bit far though. Adrian certainly attacks lots of people in the trailer, and without much concern for maintaining the masquerade, so something breaks him. Overall, this looks like a good movie! Probably one bursting with triggers, and that could go very wrong, but it could also be quite good. Oh, I hope it’s good, the monsters need the break.