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 later this month, 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).
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.
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 are the themes of The Invisible Man?
In a new interview with Empire, Moss reveals why the reboot is really about an abused woman.
“You literally have a man who is invisible. You can’t see him. She’s saying he’s there, that he’s attacking her, abusing her, manipulating her, and everyone around her is saying, ‘Relax. It’s fine’,” Moss explains.
“And she keeps saying, ‘No, he is – he’s alive, he’s doing this,’ and no one believes her. The analogy is incredibly clear.”
Moss also remarked how she was able to draw on her experience from The Handmaid’s Tale for the role.
“I’ve had quite a bit of experience playing characters who are dealing with various types of abuse,” Moss says. “Whether it’s emotional, physical, sexual, it’s something that I’ve dived into quite a bit. So I was able to bring that knowledge to the role.”
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.”
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.
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.
The movie was shot on location 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.”
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