Bad trailers: A review of The Invisible Man based on the trailers

The Invisible Man, photo courtesy Blumhouse Productions
The Invisible Man, photo courtesy Blumhouse Productions /

The Invisible Man arrives in theaters this week, but because of the trailers it feels like we’ve already seen the major plot points so here’s our review.

The Invisible Man has a lot going for it. It’s a modern retelling of a classic horror story. Without the weight of the scrapped Dark Universe, the story will be allowed to stand on its own. You have two-time Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) as the lead, and the technology to make the invisibility effect truly terrifying.

When the trailer was cut, they didn’t have to give us much. Tell us who our characters are, tell us what the conflict is, and tease us with a dramatic moment or two. The multiple trailers do a great job of setting up the story but then go way too far in revealing major plot points and robbing us of some of, what appear to be, the most dramatic moments in the film. The more trailers you watch the more details are filled in and, as a person who likes to know as little as possible going into a film, it’s frustrating.

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The fact that I haven’t been able to avoid these trailers is why I’m here now to review The Invisible Man before I watch it.

The story

The Invisible Man is a story about a woman, Cecilia Kass (played by Moss), escaping an abusive husband only to be tortured by him from the grave. That is if he is actually dead. I can’t even write that last line and pretend there’s any mystery because the trailers all confirm that he is not dead, but I’ll push on.

After she escapes her husband, she stays with friends who try to protect her because they know he’s dangerous. At some point, she is notified that her husband has died and left her everything. She’s skeptical because she knows he lives to control her and, because there’s no body, she doesn’t trust that he is dead. She has even more reason to believe this when she is told that her keeping everything is contingent upon her being proven sane. That’s where the invisibility comes in.

Weird things start happening to and around her while she is staying with the friends and she becomes convinced that he has found a way to make himself invisible. This obviously is done as a way to make her appear insane and thus keep her from her inheritance. For a while, it appears she is the only one that he’s messing with and she’s the only one who notices. This eventually leads to her talking to the police and then ending up in a psychiatric facility trying to convince people that she’s not crazy.

Eventually, he does start to mess with other people and now we know he’s there. There is even a scene where Cecilia pours paint on him to make him visible and we can see a grid type pattern on the suit he’s using.

The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man, photo courtesy Blumhouse Productions /

The scares

Based on the trailer, The Invisible Man is going to be filled to the brim with jump scares and moments meant to make you uncomfortable as you wait for the next shoe to drop. Because of the nature of the film, this should be the case because our villain/antagonist can be in the room at any moment and we won’t know it until he acts. Every single moment of the film should be tense, so giving away a lot of moments in the trailer may not end up being as bad as it seems.

Why should we even watch?

Despite the fact that we basically know everything about The Invisible Man going in, there is one thing we don’t know. How does it end?

There is at least one trailer that seems to show Cecilia getting the upper hand on her tormentor and stabbing him repeatedly, but we don’t know if she really has lost it and perhaps attacked someone else. That also opens us up to the possibility that she really is crazy. Perhaps the scenes where it appears it is confirmed that he’s there, because he interacts with people, are actually in her head. This would not be the first time that a trailer appeared to show the entire movie, then surprised viewers with a major twist.

While I would have loved for whoever cut the trailers to have held a lot more dramatic moments close to the vest, I am still curious to find out the resolution to the situation.

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Will you be purchasing a ticket to see The Invisible Man (no pun intended) this weekend?