The first trailer for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man has been released, and it looks to be an effective return to Universal Horror (after the studio’s abandoned attempt to turn their Dark Universe into a kind of MCU action film series). This time, horror is front and center—which is a funny thing to say for a film that features a villain that can’t be seen. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, (co-creator of the Saw and Insidious franchises, and the creator of the last year’s violent blast of sci-fi/horror goodness Upgrade) this modern re-telling of H.G. Wells eponymous character aims to substitute a man’s descent into madness for a story with pointed commentary about domestic abuse.
Per the synopsis:
The film centers on Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale), a woman trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist. She escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, Killing Ground), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Die Hard with a Vengeance) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, A Wrinkle in Time). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, The Haunting of Hill House) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turn lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Early reactions to the trailer have been positive, though some viewers have made comparisons to Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man (2000), a reaction that likely stems from some very surface level similarities with Whannell’s Upgrade and Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987). There have also been some comments suggesting that the trailer for The Invisible Man gives away too many surprises, to which Whannell posted on Twitter:
For those few thinking that the @TheInvisibleMan trailer shows too much…you’re wrong about that. Trust me.
— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) November 7, 2019
Also released on Twitter to coincide with the trailer drop is a newly created emoji for the film. I won’t spoil what it is, but be sure to check out #WhatYouCantSeeCanHurtYou for a clever bit of social media fun. And make sure that you’re in dark mode!
The Invisible Man is set to open on February 28, 2020. Until then, there’s plenty of time to venture back into the black and white days and watch the original films, the first of which is an absolute classic.
Discuss your favorite film that plays with invisibility—even if your favorite is the John Carpenter/Chevy Chase invisible man film—and your thoughts on the first trailer for Whannell’s modern re-imagining of unseen horror with the Nightmare on Film Street Community on Twitter, Reddit, or The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!