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The Invisible Man: Elisabeth Moss’ terrifying horror movie is all about gaslighting

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The Handmaid’s Tale star has swapped Gilead for another terrifying universe in this reboot of a 1933 horror film of the same name. Are you brave enough to watch The Invisible Man

Elisabeth Moss’ next project is called The Invisible Man, but we can think of another title for it – Gaslighting: The Movie.

The film, produced by horror impresario Jason Blumhouse (Get Out, Us) and slated for release in February 2020, is a reboot of an iconic 1933 monster movie of the same name, giving all of the original’s themes and concerns a modern day twist.

The plot centres on Cecilia (Moss), a woman desperately trying to rebuild her life in San Francisco after the death by suicide of her abusive ex-boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, a horror veteran you might remember from The Haunting of Hill House). 

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When Cecilia is alerted to a series of strange, unsettling occurrences, she believes that her boyfriend might not be dead after all. Handprints appear on the door of her shower, even though she is home alone. Her stove turns on mysteriously, setting the kitchen alight. Cecilia senses the sinister, dangerous presence of something in her house, an invisible force that she cannot see.

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man.

Nobody believes her. “I found something that can prove what I’m experiencing,” Cecilia tells her best friend in the first trailer for the film.

“You need help,” she responds, looking dubious. “Adrian is dead.”

Later in the trailer, Cecilia begs doctors at a psychiatric institution to help her. “I’m not crazy!” she yells. “Please listen to me!” 

Here is everything you need to know about The Invisible Man.

What was the response to the first trailer for The Invisible Man?

Since the first trailer was released, anticipation for The Invisible Man has grown exponentially. Fans shared their excitement for the horror film on Twitter, adding that the trailer was so scary that it would be wise to avoid watching it directly before going to sleep. 

Some fans, though, did point out the gaping plot hole when it comes to so-called invisible men – a nice, old fashioned cup of flour to throw over their invisible, yet nevertheless corporeal form, to prove that there’s something there.

“This looked great until I realised all she had to do was throw paint on him,” one fan joked on YouTube. Well, quite. 

What are the themes of The Invisible Man?

Judging from the trailer, The Invisible Man will explore concepts of gaslighting, stalking and psychological abuse. Cecilia repeatedly voices her concerns about her safety to her friends, family and even her lawyer, and nobody listens to her. The emotional crescendo of the film, then, will be in seeing how Cecilia is able to make her voice heard.

“Part of the reason why I wanted to do it is I actually felt like it was a really feminist story of female empowerment and a victim kind of overcoming something,” Moss told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t even know what I’m allowed to say about it! I’m not The Invisible Man, but there is an Invisible Man — if that makes any sense.” 

 Who is in the cast of The Invisible Man?

Alongside Moss and Jackson-Cohen in the lead roles is a stacked supporting cast. There’s Australian actor Harriet Dyer, best known for television series like No Activity and Love Child, as Cecilia’s best friend, as well as Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures, Straight Outta Compton) as a police officer involved in Cecilia’s case, and a single father to daughter Sydney, played by A Wrinkle In Time’s Storm Reid.

Storm Reid at the premiere of A Wrinkle In Time in London with Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon.

The movie filmed in Australia last year, and star Jackson-Cohen opened up to Collider about the experience of working on the project.

“Oh, it was incredible!” he said. “Working with Lizzie Moss – she’s a remarkable, remarkable actor and a remarkable human being… It was an amazing experience. We were in Australia all summer doing that and they brought the release date forward halfway through filming. All of a sudden over 500 people descended to Australia to open up a special effects division because they’re having to kind of manage it when it comes out of Sydney. I’m really excited to see it, but it has been quite the whirlwind of finishing on that.” 

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What is the release date of The Invisible Man?

The Invisible Man will be in cinemas on 28 February 2020 in the US and the UK. 

Images: Universal, Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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