After the colossal failure of 2017’s “The Mummy” and Universal Studios’ “Dark Universe,” many were saddened that the possibility of a resurgence of classic monster movies would never come to screens. After this weekend, I can firmly say the excitement can finally start back up with the release of Blumehouse’s “The Invisible Man.”
“The Invisible Man” is directed by Leigh Whannell and stars Elisabeth Moss as a woman being stalked by an invisible force whom she believes is her dead boyfriend, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, after an apparent suicide. The film was released on Feb. 28 and has already won back its budget by an outrageous margin.
This was such a great film for horror fans with some great scares, but more importantly a great story through-and-through. The story had such a redux from a mad scientist who had turned himself invisible for fame to a controlling boyfriend who used his intellect and money to stalk his girlfriend by turning himself invisible somehow.
This film modernized the story so well because this is a big problem in many relationships today with many men and women being forced into a relationship by many reasons including abuse and self-harm. This is what ultimately scared me the most in the movie, not the loud noises or creepy atmosphere, but the realism that if this ability were to exist, there would be people like The Invisible Man who would abuse it.
The film had a budget of $7 million, which is in and of itself a small budget for a feature-length film but is perfect for a film based on the character of the Invisible Man. Think about it, an invisible antagonist which is primarily on screen, but you can never see him, so no effects needed, right? Wrong! There is still a great amount of effort in the production and the effects of the film. Even for a horror movie, there was still a great amount of love and passion put into this film and it shows grossing $29 million ($49.2 million worldwide).
The is a big contrast to the box office numbers from Universal’s attempt at the film franchise with “The Mummy”, which only grossed $31.6 million in its domestic opening with a budget of $125 million. This was a massive upset for the production company and their “Dark Universe” project where they planned on producing and re-introducing the monsters in a blockbuster fashion. What they didn’t realize is that this was not how these films were made to be produced or seen and that’s where Blumehouse comes in.
Blumehouse Productions is an American production studio whose main talent is making amazing horror films with remarkably low budgets. They have made cult classics and personal favorites such as “Get Out,” “Paranormal Activity” and “Upgrade” as well as some well-known dramas like “Whiplash” and “BlacKkKlansman.” This studio is perfect for a film like this — the perfect low-budget character (i.e. an invisible one) and some great writing from the director, Leigh Whannell. Whannell is by far one of the best horror writers of our generation with such credits like the “Saw” and “Insidious” franchises and “Upgrade” (I keep mentioning it because it’s great, please watch it).
With great writing and great production, this film is the perfect starting point for the proper Universal Classic Monster film franchise to restart itself. The thought of classic monsters coming back to the big screen makes me excited for the future of horror.
From Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster to The Wolfman and The Creature of the Black Lagoon, the possibilities are endless and the story is there; I just hope that writers like Whannell take these stories and turn them into new generational classics.