Your favorite superpower says a lot about you as a person. Anxious people pick super speed, boring people pick flight, and geniuses pick temporary invincibility so they don't have to walk down stairs anymore. And those of us who are pervs, of course, pick invisibility. Pervs, but also a much, much darker type of creep. Universal monster movie material, even.
Turns out that the Dark Universe isn't dead after all. Next on the slab is the return of The Invisible Man, set to release in 2020, but with a twist. In the remake, Elisabeth Moss (patron saint of playing women who just can't catch a break with men) is Cecilia Kass, who has escaped her violently abusive ex, only to be lured out of hiding after he fakes his death. So far, so 1 in 4 U.S. women will be a victim of violent abuse in their lifetime. But Kass' ex isn't just a wife-beater, but also a brilliant scientist -- the kind who once wrote a paper about how women are biologically unfit for STEM careers. And in the time she's been gone, he may have finished his life's work: invisibility.
Unlike previous Invisible Men, the plot here seems to initially revolve less around him using his powers to hurt Kass physically than to psychologically dominate her, terrifying her in ways that undermine her sanity -- and credibility. Turning the Invisible Man into a gaslighter is an interesting 21st-century update for a monster that has historically been used to explore themes around accountability (or a lack of it) and sexual harassment. Nobody really fears being powerless in the face of the Wolfman's incredible strength, but way too many people fear coming home to find their psycho ex snuck into the yard and killed the dog.
And sure, there have been attempts to explore this in previous movies (looking at you, rapey Kevin Bacon), but this Invisible Man feels more like a reimagining of the original movie, which didn't ask what kind of monster we become when we turn invisible, but rather what kind of monster would want to become invisible in the first place. And director Leigh Whannell desired to make a monster "as grounded as you can be when you're dealing with a film called The Invisible Man." That's definitely the kind of man you can't prove was chain-smoking in front of your women's shelter at 2 in the morning.
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