Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

Elizabeth Moss plays a woman who thinks her abusive ex-lover has risen from the dead to haunt her The Invisible Man

A young woman believes she is haunted by the ghost of her abusive ex-boyfriend, but discovers something much worse in The Invisible Man, Universal Pictures’ rebooted adaptation of HG Wells’ classic science fiction novel. Judging by the trailer, the new film will deviate significantly from the source material in some interesting ways to bring Wells’ story into the 21st century.

(Spoilers for the 1897 novel and 1933 film below.)

First serialized and then published as a book in 1897, the novel tells the story of a scientist named Griffin, whose research into optics led him to invent a means of making himself invisible by reducing the refractive index of to chemically adapt its body to that of air. Wells quoted Plato’s Republic as one of his influences, notably a legend about a magical ring that makes a man invisible, which Plato used to investigate whether a person would behave morally if there were no consequences for bad behavior. The novel opens with Griffin taking a room in a village inn, dressed in a long coat, hat and gloves and his face wrapped in bandages. He is mostly on his own, conducting chemistry experiments in his room, but eventually his landlady discovers that he is invisible under the heavy clothing.

Griffin flees – killing a bum – and takes shelter with his former medical school colleague, Dr. Kemp, to whom he tells his story of inventing the chemicals that made him invisible. He has tried to reverse the invisibility, in vain. He is also quite angry and tells Kemp about his plans to use his invisibility to launch a murderous “Reign of Terror” on England. Kemp informs the authorities, making him Griffin’s first target. Finally, Griffin is cornered and beaten to death by an angry mob. His body gradually becomes visible again as he dies.

The acclaimed 1933 film adaptation by director James Whale starred Claude Rains as the titular Invisible Man and was so successful it spawned several sequels and spin-offs. The film is a fairly faithful adaptation of Wells’s novel, except it’s set in 1933 rather than the 1890s, fleshing out the character of Griffin with a betrothed named Flora (Gloria Stuart). It’s also a more sympathetic treatment of Griffin as a tragic figure, showing he’s been driven mad by a science experiment gone wrong rather than portraying a runaway man intoxicated with power and easily resorting to murder.

Universal has announced a remake of The Invisible Man in 2016, part of a planned series of films for the studio’s Dark Universe project, which is based on the studio’s classic monsters. The shared cinematic universe would include: the mummyBride of Frankensteinand The Invisible Man† But again, a major studio found that the “Marvel Model” is actually quite difficult to make. Universal’s 2017 movie the mummy, starring Tom Cruise, was a critical and blockbuster, and the studio abandoned the shared universe plan to focus on standalone stories. Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions has signed up to produce The Invisible Man

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell (best known for the Saw and treacherous franchises), this latest movie version seems to mix the original premise with another classic movie, gas light (1944), about an abusive husband who tries to drive his wife mad. According to the official synopsis: “After her abusive ex-boyfriend commits suicide, the naive Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) begins to rebuild her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is questioned when she begins to suspect that her former boyfriend isn’t. is. actually dead as she had thought.”

The trailer opens with Cecilia fleeing her toxic relationship in the middle of the night, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), only to have the sociopathic Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) smash the car window as they drive away. Cut to the sisters sitting in the office of a lawyer who informs them that Adrian committed suicide. The twist: He left Cecilia $5 million in his will, provided she is found mentally healthy. Cecilia begins to rebuild her life, but mysterious, ominous phenomena continue to take place. At first she thinks Adrian’s ghost is haunting her, but her sister and neighbors dismiss the possibility and express concerns about her mental health.

A visit to Adrian’s old house convinces Cecilia that her ex is still alive and has figured out how to make himself invisible so he can play his mind games to torment her.

“He said wherever I went, he would find me, walk up to me and I wouldn’t be able to see him,” Cecilia said in a voiceover. Of course, no one believes her, until an invisible Adrian turns violent. It is believed that Cecilia must confront her abuser in order to finally put an end to the nightmare. And given the fate of the Invisible Man in previous incarnations, we don’t like Adrian’s chances of survival.

The Invisible Man opens in theaters on February 28, 2020.

List image by YouTube/Universal

By akfire1

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