The Invisible Man: A small budget film capable of re-launching a new movie universe

Dan O’Brien
3 min readOct 5, 2020


A modern, thrilling update to the classic Universal Pictures monster movie franchise is the perfect antidote for 2020.

Courtesy of Canburak via Flickr

Invisible Man was released to movie theaters (remember them?) on February 28, 2020 to glowing reviews. Through word of mouth it was filling up cinemas across the globe…..until a thing called Covid-19 shut down most of the civilized world.

2017’s The Mummy failed to ignite a shared universe of monsters culled from Universal Picture’s archives, so all of the planned big-budget movies based on characters such as the H. G. Wells’ classic story of the man who could turn himself invisible were put on hold. Fortunately for all involved, we may very well end up with a new era of smart, small-scale, “humans are the real monsters” horror films such as 2020’s “Invisible Man”.

Filmed almost entirely in Australia at a budget of just $7 million dollars, it has earned close to $150 million dollars in sales globally, including home video sales as well as theater grosses.

The star and main focus of this psychological horror/thriller is the always outstanding Elisabeth Moss, taking on the role of Cecilia Kass, held under intense and relentless control by her abusive boyfriend, Adrian Griffin, played by British actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

As seen in the trailers, Moss is terrorized by her hidden stalker throughout the movie, as she’s pushed to the breaking point by her presumed dead boyfriend. Of course, no one believes her improbable story of an invisible person haunting her, so she is going to have to fight this battle herself.

Credit: Youtube / Blumhouse Productions / Universal Pictures

One thing we know: no one plays the role of the abused and desperate, but far from helpless and incompetent, woman like Elisabeth Moss.

One of the undeniable highlights of this film is the writing and directing abilities displayed by Australian film maker Leigh Whannell. After massive success from his Saw and Insidious franchise screenplays, Leigh took over the directing chair with Insidious: Chapter 3. He followed this up by hitting his next movie out of the park with his underappreciated 2018 Blumhouse Production’s release, Upgrade.

Film clip: this small scene perfectly captures the type of horror the lead character is dealing with.

Credit: Youtube / Blumhouse Productions / Universal Pictures / Gruesome Magazine

This is a spectacularly terrifying two hours of non-stop tension and twists, with unexpected contemporary themes such as spousal abuse providing a new take on a character first introduced to cinemas during the Depression era period of the 1930’s. The Invisible Man grips the viewer immediately, from it’s unique opening credits until the screen turns black.

I had the pleasure of seeing this in a packed theater before the shutdown, and there were at least three moments where audible gasps could be heard throughout the theater. These are not jump scares thrown in randomly, these are true horror moments that will make you jump off your couch. They are perfectly timed and executed; if you have seen this movie already, then you know exactly what I’m referring to.

Film clip: Memo to self….never fight an invisible monster with a kitchen knife.

Credit: Youtube / Blumhouse Productions / Universal Pictures / IGN

With the Coronavirus pandemic impacting things so dramatically, the majority of new films, big and small, are being released via streaming television, right to your home, so please support them when you can.

The Invisible Man is streaming on Video on Demand, and is now available for HBO subscribers. Turn down the lights, turn up the volume and enjoy this 2020 thriller.

This article was originally presented in my streaming television blog, your sipping and streaming headquarters. You can find the original story at this link. Each week, our email newsletter provides our latest recommended streaming television film or series. You can subscribe to it via our Newsletter page here.



Dan O’Brien

A devoted film and television fan, writing stories about my favorite streaming TV titles. Follow at: and