The Invisible Man Parent Guide
Smart and surprisingly complex, this horror movie relies almost solely on tension and imagination instead of blood and gore.
Parent Movie Review
Cecilia Kass (Elizabeth Moss) has been trapped in an abusive relationship with tech start-up millionaire Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). But when an opportunity presents itself, and with the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) and her ex-husband, police officer James Lanier (Aldis Hodge), Cecilia seizes a chance to escape. Terrified and traumatized, Cecilia will barely go outside for fear of Adrian, until she hears he has died in mysterious circumstances. Thinking her problems have vanished, Cecilia begins to get her life back on course - until she starts seeing Adrian’s hand in the strange and terrible things happening around her…
H.G. Wells’ original novel, also titled The Invisible Man, focuses on a Victorian-era scientist named Griffin, driven mad by rage and frustration, who uses his invisibility to prey on others. As the novel progresses, Griffin becomes more and more unstable in his pursuit for a cure to his self-imposed invisibility, until he becomes a terrifying monster, consumed by his anger. In this version, he is a sociopathic narcissist, driven solely by his need to control and torment those around him. While I still love the original novel, this version is certainly compelling.
This is a film that relies almost solely on tension and imagination - as the title suggests, you barely see the antagonist. (Strange how invisibility works that way.) So, there are many shots of terrified characters in what appear to be empty rooms. What’s amazing is that they work, providing tension and atmosphere to the movie for the simple reason that, in an empty room, your villain can be anywhere.
As R-rated horror movies go, this one falls on the milder end of the spectrum. There are two or three instances of graphic violence involving blood, but overall violent scenes are less gory than one would expect for a film in this genre. There is no sex, and almost no drinking. I think the primary rationale for the R-rating is the number of profanities, which, while objectionable to many viewers, are understandable in context. The way I see it, if your psychotic, abusive, invisible ex is stalking you, you’re allowed to cuss a little. This production is smarter and less gratuitously violent than most horror flicks, and could be an option for older teens who love being scared witless.
The Invisible Man is a surprisingly complex film, engaging with heavy themes - domestic violence, gaslighting, and mental illness – and doing so in a way that manages not to feel cheap or sleazy. This is a horror film, but it’s not an easy scare. It’s frightening because it brings home an (admittedly slightly fantastical) reality for many people, which is the threat of violence and stalking. The reality is much scarier than the invisibility.Directed by Leigh Whannell. Starring Elizabeth Moss, Harriet Dryer, and Aldis Hodge. Running time: 124 minutes. Theatrical release February 28, 2020. Updated May 28, 2020
The Invisible Man
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Invisible Man rated R? The Invisible Man is rated R by the MPAA for some strong bloody violence, and language.
There are nine instances of coarse language, including sometimes aggressive use of the sexual expletive and variations in a non-sexual context; infrequent use of scatological slang, cursing, profanity, and vulgar expressions
Infrequent portrayals of hand-to-hand, weapons, and gun violence, some in a self-harm context – blood and detail
Frequent portrayals of frightening scenes
Several scenes of violence depicting injury, weapons, self-harm and/or physical assault;
Several frightening scenes depicting threat, intensity and suspense;
Scenes of domestic abuse.
Page last updated May 28, 2020
The Invisible Man Parents' Guide
If you or someone you love is suffering from domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Their website includes other resources for identifying what is domestic abuse, how to help others, and how to escape dangerous situations.
United Kingdom: National Domestic Abuse Helpline
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The original The Invisible Man, released in 1933 and starring Claude Rains, is both a brilliantly made film and a much closer adaptation of H.G. Wells original novel.
The Invisible tells the story of a man who is brutally attacked. He’s left neither alive nor dead, but in limbo, and invisible to mortal eyes.
Jessica Alba stars as The Invisible Woman in Marvel’s Fantastic Four.