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20 Apr 2020

Home Video Review: 'The Invisible Man' Proves Monster Movies Can Be Done Well—for Not a Lot of Money

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Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man. Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man.

Perhaps the only good thing about this pandemic so far is the fact that I got to watch The Invisible Man so soon at home with my dog.

Yeah, I paid $19.99, and that looks steep at first. That’s about what it cost me to see three movies per week, for a whole month, with my AMC club plan, one of the 21st century’s greatest inventions so far. But since movie theaters have gone bye-bye, $19.99 is about what it would cost for a ticket, popcorn and a drink during movie-going prime time for non-club patrons. (Actually, it’s less!) In words, it’s not a bad deal, especially if you have multiple people mulling around the TV set eating starchy foods while waiting to go outside again.

Originally, Universal Pictures had big plans for an interconnected Dark Universe, featuring the studio’s various iconic monsters. Johnny Depp, in what would’ve been his 123rd franchise film, was lined up to play a new Invisible Man; Tom Cruise was supposed to keep playing Tom Cruise in The Mummy; Javier Bardem was slated to be Frankenstein’s monster; and Russell Crowe was going to get an undeserved steady gig playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Then people saw The Mummy. It flopped in every way, and some exec said, “What the hell? Fuck that; no more money for this bullshit!” Instead, Universal started thinking on a smaller scale. The Invisible Man proves you don’t need $250 million to make a monster movie. All you really need is Elisabeth Moss and, like, $50.

Moss is great as a somebody trying to escape an abusive relationship, only to be (maybe) followed around by her invisible dead ex. Is she crazy? Did her boyfriend actually figure out a way to disappear? It’s all pretty well done, and, yes, it’s worth the $19.95 for a night at the movies without actually going out.

The Invisible Man is now streaming on various platforms including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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