I absolutely loved this sort of modern re-boot of THE INVISIBLE MAN, the film(s) based on H.G. Wells’ classic novel. It totally reminded me of my favourite Julia Roberts’ film, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, in which the toothsome one plays a battered wife escaping from her husband’s magnificent but soulless beach house and faking her own death at the same time, so he won’t be able to track her down.

I love that scene when she pitter-patters soaking wet through the empty, darkened beach house on the night of her own ‘death,’ grabbing the emergency bag of clothes and money she’s had ready for God knows how long, chopping her long hair shorter and disposing of her wedding ring in the toilet. Here it sits silently as a damning clue to her actions until the husband, chillingly played by Irish actor Patrick Bergin, finds it some time later and draws his own devastating conclusions…

In THE INVISIBLE MAN, Elisabeth Moss, an actress I’m not familiar with, does a phenomenal job as battered wife Cecilia Kass, an architect and a perfectly decent person in her own right. But her utter scumbag of a scientist husband, Adrian Griffin, has reduced her to a mere shadow of her former self with his violence and controlling ways. So, when the movie opens, Cecilia is escaping from the beach house and her sleeping husband, and desperately hoping he’ll stay asleep until she’s far, far away…

Safe in the home of her younger sister Emily’s boyfriend James’s house- he’s positively dreamy, this fella, and a cop as well- Cecilia hasn’t even really begun to pick up the pieces of her shattered life when she receives a bombshell from Emily in the form of a piece of almost unbelievable news… the news that abusive hubby Adrian has seemingly taken his own life…

That’s all well and good, but, if Adrian is dead, why does Cecilia feel like she’s being stalked by him? Little things are happening that no-one else would really take seriously, but that Cecilia knows are signs that Adrian is back in her life again. But how? He’s dead, innit, and, not only that, but he certainly doesn’t have powers of invisibility that would permit him to shadow his terrified wife without being seen, or does he…?

You can’t blame James and Emily for thinking that poor CeeCee has a screw loose. Dead people don’t suddenly rise from the dead and stalk their bereaved and grieving loved ones under cover of a cloak of invisibility.

But they’ve reckoned without Adrian’s expertise in the field of optics, his passion for making himself invisible one day and his overwhelming need to dominate and control what’s his… and that very definitely includes his wife, Cecilia…

There are a few loopholes in the film, such as, who’s been feeding Zeus the dog if the beach house has been empty all this time? Or has Adrian been staying there on the sly the whole time and feeding his pet? Fear not, folks!

On a recent Zoom call with the actor who plays Zeus the dog, I was reliably informed that the local eateries and take-out emporia kept him well supplied with tasty nosh during filming, on condition, of course, that he mentioned their names wherever possible. Yum Thai, Yum Thai, Yum Thai, Yum Thai, Yum Thai, etc. Woof woof…!

You might recognise Oliver Jackson-Cohen, the actor who plays Adrian the jerky husband, as having also played a jerk in two terrific Netflix spooky series of recent times, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. Clearly, he’s not going to be called upon to play Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela any time soon. Only cocky young jerks, lol. He’s scarily good at portraying an abuser.

The theme of domestic abuse (sexual abuse and control feature here also) is incredibly timely as, everywhere we look today, men’s violence against women and control over them is being called out, even in cases where the abuser is rich and famous, which is immensely heartening to see.

In days gone by, we would have expected to see people like Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell get away with their crimes, but no more. Hopefully this is the way things will stay. They were the other way for far too long.

By the way, the film is written and directed by Leigh Whannell of INSIDIOUS and SAW fame, which I love, though there’s no sign of his usual film-making partner, James Wan. Were they on a break, like Ross and Rachel? Were they sick of being always mentioned in the same breath, like Bonnie & Clyde, or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid? If you asked Leigh Whannell where’s his sidekick James Wan, would he mutter, Father Damo-style, he’s not the boss of me…? Or is this just a coincidence? Probably, to be honest, lol.

Cecilia’s NIKE trainers are in full view for most of the film, by the way, so I guess she must really dig those trainers, lol. Well, what else could it mean? I’m off now, anyway, to filch some grub from somewhere. For some reason, I’m pining for a huge feast of Yum Thai. Wonder if we have a menu anywhere…?

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

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