The Invisible Man (2020) vs. The Invisible Man (1933)

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon here. I recently watched The Invisible Man (1933) and wanted to compare it to The Invisible Man (2020).

You will probably see right through this but if you keep reading, there will be spoilers for both movies below. You have been warned.

In this corner we have a scientist who injects himself with a solution that not only makes him turn invisible but also causes him to go insane and allows him to torture scientists he works with and terrorize an entire town. In the opposite corner is a horrifically abusive scientist who is an expert in optics and fakes his own death in order to torture a woman, frame her for unspeakable crimes, and terrorizes a police facility for the mentally ill.

The original film is a fun romp into what ifs about being invisible but still shows the dire consequences of what happens when science goes to far. The current film is more of a statement about the sad truth that far too many victims of domestic abuse are not believed when they should be. It’s a much more gripping psychological thriller than the first.

While in the original it is to be expected that there would be plot holes, silly camera gimmicks that were innovative at the time and a bit of overacting, the current film needs to be held to a higher standard. It’s hard to do film magic now since the audience understands that we have such things as green screens, CGI etc. The current film is able to create plenty of tension despite the fact we can all guess at how the camera tricks were pulled off. There are some things that I question in the current film however.

Here is where I will go a bit into deeper spoilers for the current film so if you have not seen it, you may not want to read further. In the new film, the main character, Cecilia (who is not the invisible man if you did not guess), is framed for murder. Moments later she is in police custody where she is interrogated by her friend whose house she was staying at. Now, while I give this movie a lot of credit and I think it was a good watch, I hardly found this part believable. It would be such an obvious conflict for that cop to be interrogating a murder suspect who he had such a close relationship with. Sorry, but I don’t buy that at all.

Later in the film, when things are wrapping up and Cecilia is trying to get the actual Invisible Man to confess, James is listening in as a cop. Again, that is way too much of a conflict to happen. I know complaining about those parts of the movie might be considered too picky, it threw off the experience for me.

Still, it is a terrifying movie but perhaps not for the reason you would think. On the surface, thinking that an invisible stalker is around is certainly terrifying. There is no doubt that would be a challenging adversary. But the terrifying part of this is the fact that in so many cases in real life women are not believed when they say they are abused. This whole movie plot would not work if that were not the case and to me that is utterly horrifying. It’s so easy for the characters around Cecilia to dismiss her concerns because that is what actually happens far too often and that is unacceptable. It does add weight to the movie though and raises the stakes.

So to sum up, the original movie is great if you want a fun silly scare and to see the golden age of movie monsters at the beginning. The new one is terrifying because it reflects much of our reality. Depending on what you are in the mood for, both are very good films. I recommend them both but if you decide to watch the current one, think about how easy it is for Cecilia’s situation to be translated to reality and how tragic that is.

I can’t really pick a “winner” between the two because both are very competent films. But if you are looking for escapist fantasy and fun monsters I definitely say to go with the original. And let’s try to keep the horrors on the screen instead of in reality.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

The Invisible Man (1933) – #MovieReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here again to review yet another Universal monster movie. This time I watched The Invisible Man. Or did I? Can you really watch someone who is not visible? Anyway, I watched the movie from 1933 starring Claude Rains. I do intend to do a review of the more current Invisible Man as a compare and contrast but I haven’t watched it yet.

For this movie, it’s from 1933 so I probably don’t need to tell you that there will be spoilers below. But still consider yourself warned. If you get the creepy feeling that someone is the room with you telling you not to read further it’s not me but it could be The Invisible Man.

If you look at the previous Universal films you’ll notice something interesting. Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy have relatively low body counts. Sure, Dracula did kill everyone on a boat and he had terrorized everyone in his home country to the point that everyone was afraid. Frankenstein (well his monster that is) killed a few people and again terrorized his home town relentlessly. Imhotep aka the mummy, brought himself back from the dead and murdered a few people to regain his lost love. But you know what? They were not just regular humans. At one point they may have been but Dracula is thousands of years old. Frankenstein’s monster is more a collection of people than a single man. Imhotep is the closest to being a regular human but he comes from an ancient society with a different set of rules and magic on his side. You know what The Invisible Man had? A bit of science, some bandages, a wig, and a desire to cause a ton of chaos. This guy has a huge body count compared to the other monsters. And he seems to do bad things because he enjoys them.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. So the basic plot is that a man discovers a solution that can make you invisible. This man is a scientist and he goes off to an inn to try and work in seclusion and cure his condition. The problem? This solution drives you insane. He decides it would be fun to, you know, murder a bunch of people and by golly he does it. He derails an entire train at one point. A whole town can’t catch him and he enlists partners to help him in his criminal enterprises.

To modern audiences there are a lot of things that seem silly in the movie. A bicycle riding by itself with a voice over, things moving where you can see string if you look close enough, and film tricks like superimposing images so it looks like there is no head on a body. In 1933 these things were fairly innovative and left audiences shocked. What I really found shocking was the gleefully deviant attitude of the main character. I mean, this guy really likes to cause trouble and no one is gonna stop him.

The film is very entertaining if you can get over the older effects and I can see why someone like this would still be scary today. If you have never watched this, do yourself a favor and give it a view.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon