The Invisible Man ★★

Too patient for my bones, for the precise opposite reason one might expect reading that. Past the opening scene, a literally-nauseatingly-tense sequence that sees Cecilia escaping from her own home, every single scene is pregnant with the notion that the titular man might be there and visit emotional or physical violence on her. Sometimes Whannel actively plays it up via shot choices, but even in average-ass scenes the threat remains. This feels vividly evocative of Cecilia's anxieties, anxieties a lot of women sadly share, but it wore me through in a bad way. Some other horror movies evoke a similar idea, e.g. It Follows, but there's scenes of downtime there (especially at the beginning, before things kick into gear), a life outside of the misery. It's effective, but I came to realize I really couldn't make something constructive out of it while it continued playing in this register, ceaselessly stirring up panic without developing toward a channel outward. (Eventually it does spin its wheels too long such that it starts losing this power anyway, but well before then I wanted it to move on just for the sake of reprieve.)

Things pivot on a dime in a big way, in a scene I understand to be well-liked, and it's at that point that this lost me for good. Takes this in a direction I can only describe as "ludicrous," in a way that would probably have been quite a bit of fun in a movie that had prior had a sense of humor, but plays horribly with the relentlessly sobering film as built. I'd stop short of saying this actively makes light of the extremely serious stuff it portrays in the first two-thirds, but it becomes clear that Whannel has no real intention to take this someplace, which all at once cheapened it in a way that finally let me go and which befit the remainder of the movie. Even stranger yet, the movie that it becomes for a stretch is definitely the preferable film (even if still extremely imperfect); I wish it had been it all along. Makes me think the guy has a much better movie in him, at least.

Would love to know what Whannel thinks of Unsane (what I currently cite as my favorite movie, is why), or Soderbergh of this. They're such similar movies, and yet so different all the same.

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