Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.
Today’s Film: The Invisible Man. Enjoy!
The Invisible Man is Directed by James Whale, the director of the original Frankenstein film. I have to say, I’m very disappointed in this movie. This is considered part of the Universal Monsters series. It follows scientist Jack Griffin, a man who is turned invisible as a result of an experiment.
Dracula? Scary. Frankenstein? Not as scary, but very powerful and moving. The Mummy? Scary at times. The Invisible Man? Not scary at all. In fact, compared to the other ones, it’s very forgettable.
Claude Rains’ performance is without a doubt one of the best of the Universal Monsters. His portrayal of this scientist who has turned himself invisible is mesmerizing and quite a joy to watch. Not only is the movie bettered by his incredible acting, but it’s compelling to see a truly human character. One that isn’t a mythical creature of the night or a man-made creation. Another strength of this film is the very impressive visual effects. Keep in mind, this film was released in 1933, and the moments where Griffin is invisible still hold up.
However, that’s where the soaring greatness stops and the film begins to drag. The story is very boring, and I was checking constantly to see how much time was left. One of the reasons why this film isn’t as good as its predecessors is the characters. In prior installments, the characters were just so more realized and developed, even the more minor ones. The ones in The Invisible Man are just not that interesting. They aren’t seen much and rarely serve a purpose. There’s also an extremely annoying character who is constantly screaming in a shrill banshee-like voice. That definitely took away from the experience.
The Invisible Man is helped by Claude Rains’ great performance and some well-written aspects, as well as impressive visuals. However, its characters and story are a bore, and not as compelling and masterfully written as films before it. I’m going to give it a C.
The Invisible Man stars Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers, Una O’Connor, Forrester Harvey, Dudley Digges, E.E. Clive. Directed by James Whale.