A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Invisible Man is officially a remake of the classic 1933 Universal monster movie (based on an H.G. Wells story) but is an almost entirely new blend of sci-fi and horror. Expect intense violence: Women are punched, dragged, and thrown by invisible forces; throats are sliced (with spurting blood); a man is beaten relentlessly with more blood, guns, and shooting; characters die; and more. Language includes uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," and "ass." Characters are dosed with Diazepam (an anxiety drug that causes drowsiness), and a bottle of champagne is shown, followed by characters saying they have hangovers. Sex isn't an issue, but a married couple is shown sleeping in bed, and a woman is said to be pregnant. There are a few story flaws, but the production is excellent overall, with an interesting female lead.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE INVISIBLE MAN, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) creeps out of bed, leaving behind her sleeping, drugged husband, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), and sneaks away from his Stinson Beach mansion. Staying with friends -- police officer James (Aldis Hodge) and his teen daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid) -- Cecilia worries that the abusive, controlling Adrian will come after her. But before long she learns that Adrian is dead, having taken his own life. Soon accidents and other strange things start happening, and as they become more serious, Cecilia begins to suspect that Adrian is somehow not dead and is able to make himself invisible. However, convincing anyone of that scenario proves difficult, especially when all the evidence of a brutal murder points toward Cecilia.
Is it any good?
With this updated take on the H.G. Wells tale, writer-director Leigh Whannell has done just about everything right, delivering a tense, clever thriller with touches of both horror and sci-fi. Officially a remake of James Whale's classic 1933 Universal monster movie, this version of The Invisible Man retains the idea of the invisible person being murderously psychotic but combines it with paranoid, "falsely accused" touches right out of Alfred Hitchcock or Fritz Lang. Whannell (Insidious: Chapter 3, Upgrade) uses a wide-screen frame to brilliant effect, creating suspense with large, empty spaces and with red herrings, such as mannequins or creepy sculptures.
The movie's use of sound and music is also superb; Benjamin Wallfisch's edgy, scraping score seems to come from everywhere at once. The visual effects are inspired, and this is the first time in an Invisible Man movie that invisibility isn't created by chemicals. Moss is another magnificent touch. Not only does she give a concentrated, fully rounded performance, but her character is fascinatingly flawed and appealingly tough. The only real issues with the film reveal themselves as the story comes to a head, and certain details become just a little less air-tight. But this is easily forgivable given the fine craftsmanship in all other areas of The Invisible Man.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why is revenge so appealing as a story driver? How does revenge end for the main character in this case? How does revenge usually work in real life?
How does this story compare to the original Invisible Man movie? The novel? What's been changed or updated?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of horror movies?
How does the movie show diversity? Are all of the characters three-dimensional? Did you notice any stereotypes?
- In theaters: February 28, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: March 20, 2020
- Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge
- Director: Leigh Whannell
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some strong bloody violence, and language
- Last updated: March 24, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.