Parents' Guide to

The Invisible Man (1933)

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

'30s book-based science fiction tale has violence.

Movie NR 1933 71 minutes
The Invisible Man (1933) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

Another Whale Universal Horror masterpiece

Whale's film successfully presents horror in a way that is both complex but easy to understand. The storytelling is succinct and the sense of urgency and build feels well executed. The film feels like it starts quite close to a 10 on the tension scale and so one wonders where else are you gonna go? Rains executes his portrayal very well and you believe it is him underneath all those bandages and his voice...yeah...his voice is great! There are parts of the film that feel a bit clunky, but the overarching milieu of the film is strong and has clearly influenced film these past 90 years.
age 8+

A fun horror classic!

This is a great, campy film that doesn't take itself too seriously. It manages to be a showcase for early, innovative special effects and to tell an engaging story. There's nothing scary or risqué about this film in today's day and age, but it's definitely a fun Halloween flick.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (3):

Director James Whale's film is a curiosity, an engaging though one-note, 71-minute drama. The fantasy does reward an audience's suspension of disbelief with a few thrilling sequences of innovative (for the time) special effects. (The process concluded with technicians altering 64,000 frames by hand to complete the effects.) We never see the "before" version of Griffin, so his transformation to the angry bandaged man we first meet and his desire to murder for fun has to be explained later as a chemical side effect of his experiments. This is in contrast to the novel, in which Griffin is insane before he becomes invisible. (H.G. Wells approved the script, by the way.)

The Invisible Man connects a desire for power to madness, which may seem overdramatic to current audiences. And sci-fi mixes shallowly with attempts at humor. A bicycle seems to ride itself. "I can't arrest a bloomin' shirt," one wry cop observes. And as the landlady, Una O'Connor spends most of her screen time screaming at the top of her lungs without much provocation, dulling us to the mounting threat the invisible man poses. Look for a fun mistake: When the naked, invisible Griffin is shown making footprints in the snow, the outlines are not of bare feet but of shoes, which should have been visible had Griffin been wearing them.

Movie Details

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