THE INVISIBLE MAN – Review by Susan Granger

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The smartest move made by writer/director Leigh Whannell (“Saw,” “Insidious”) was hiring Elisabeth Moss to play the protagonist in his contemporary re-imaging of H.G. Wells’ 1897 horror classic.

After suffering years of abuse, budding architect Cecilia Kass (Moss) has carefully planned her escape from the shadowy seaside mansion that belongs to her billionaire boy-friend, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), an optics scientist.

Eluding the electronic surveillance and security systems, Cecilia slips out to grab a ride to San Francisco with her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer), who stashes her at the home of longtime friend/policeman, James (Aldis Hodge), and his college-bound daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid).

Terrified that she’s still being shadowed by Adrian, Cecilia is stunned when his sleazy brother (Michael Dorman) informs her that not only has Adrian committed suicide but he’s also left her $5 million in his Will.

But as her possessions mysteriously disappear and a kitchen fire erupts, neither the assurance of Adrian’s death nor the deposit of his money in her bank account can convince increasingly distraught Cecilia that Adrian is no longer around.

Indeed, at the risk of being declared insane, she’s firmly convinced he’s still stalking her and fully capable of wreaking havoc in her life. An atmosphere of dread prevails.

The Emmy-winning veteran of TV’s “The West Wing,” “Mad Men,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” resourceful actress Elisabeth Moss has come to embody female suffering.

Working within strict budgetary restrictions, Leigh Whannell changes the story’s focus from the crazed scientist to his victim. He cleverly intensifies the specificity of the tension, often utilizing jump scares, aided by cinematographer Stefan Duscio, production designer Alex Holmes and costumer Emily Seresin.

But Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is so loud that it becomes a distraction, rather than an enhancement.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Invisible Man” is a scary 7, placing an updated feminist spin on the unnervingly real mystery/horror concept.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.