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I’m Too Scared to Finish Watching This Trailer for The Invisible Man


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Blumhouse and Universal just released the first trailer for their new The Invisible Man movie starring Elisabeth Moss, and I’ll be honest with you, I only made it about half of the way through.

I am not what you would call a horror movie person, but you know the scare is particularly effective when I can’t even watch a full trailer. The reason I was watching at all is that I’ve been interested in the production since Johnny Depp was originally signed up to play the transparent guy (hmm, casting choices) followed by his exit, Blumhouse and Moss joining up, and the movie’s evolution into what Moss deemed a “feminist story” back in April.

According to Wikipedia, the movie is “a modern adaptation of both the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells and a reboot of the 1933 film adaptation of the same name.” As an H.G. Wells fan (and a still-dedicated fan of the wonderfully campy 2000 show I-Man on the Sci-Fi channel), I think the potential for an invasive abuse of power by an invisible person is a theme that works well in every era. This Invisible Man seems primed for ours, and you can see that emerge in the trailer and the storyline.

With a focus on the female perspective, and revolving around a toxic, abusive relationship, The Invisible Man would seem to manifest some of our most pressing real-life horrors as the bad guy here—as a great horror movie should. And the cast is absolutely stellar. Here’s what we received on PR blast today about the plot:

Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC’s The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO’s Euphoria).

But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix’s 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 turns 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.

Jason Blum, our current-day master of the horror genre, produces The Invisible Man for his Blumhouse Productions. The Invisible Man is written, directed and executive produced by Leigh Whannell, one of the original conceivers of the Saw franchise who most recently directed Upgrade and Insidious: Chapter 3.

I feel as though what has become of this movie is a particular triumph, especially considering its original plans, which would have featured Depp as the eponymous monster. The development of The Invisible Man was long and beleaguered, going back more than a decade. In 2016 it was finally announced as part of Universal’s roll-out for a planned, extensive “Dark Universe” that would feature classic movie monsters (The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, etc.) reimagined and crossing over in MCU-style.

Then Tom Cruise’s The Mummy bombed and was almost universally panned. The studio decided—rather wisely, I think—to focus on strong individual stories, rather than trying to fashion a much greater monsterverse.

Where The Mummy was bombastic and incredibly over-the-top (and I can only imagine what Depp’s Invisible Man would have done while looking extra-weird), this movie seems grounded in a realism that’s so horrifying because it hits close to home for many. No ancient curses here, just a modern one.

What do you think of the trailer? I wish I could give you a more definitive take, but I’m still getting up the nerve to press “play” again.

(via Universal, image: Blumhouse/Universal)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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