When audiences think of reviving classic Universal Monster concepts, The Invisible Man might not immediately conjure themes of how it could be reinterpreted to serve as an allegory for emotionally and physically abusive relationships, but as star Elisabeth Moss points out, the upcoming film makes it quite clear how easily the concept lends itself to such situations. While 2017's The Mummy reboot attempted to offer a more literal reimagining of its predecessor, writer/director Leigh Whannell took a more conceptual approach to the ways in which unlocking the keys to invisibility could see someone embrace their more sinister side and allow them to enact their nefarious schemes.
“You literally have a man who is invisible, you can’t see him, she’s saying he’s there, that he’s attacking her, abusing her, manipulating her, and everyone around her is saying, ‘Relax. It’s fine,’" Moss revealed to Empire. "And she keeps saying, ‘No, he is – he’s alive, he’s doing this,’ and no-one believes her. The analogy is incredibly clear.”
Moss has previously won an Emmy for her role in The Handmaid's Tale, portraying a woman in a dystopic world in which women have been reduced to slavery following a global epidemic of infertility.
“I’ve had quite a bit of experience playing characters who are dealing with various types of abuse,” the actress added. “Whether it’s emotional, physical, sexual, it’s something that I’ve dived into quite a bit. So I was able to bring that knowledge to the role.”
In the original 1933 film, a man manages to turn himself invisible, but when he can't figure out how to make himself visible once again, he turns to a life of crime and ultimately descends into madness.
In the upcoming film, trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
The Invisible Man lands in theaters on February 28th.
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