REVIEW: THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)

Starring

Elisabeth Moss (US)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster)
Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures)
Storm Reid (12 Years A Slave)
Harriet Dyer (Killing Ground)
Michael Dorman (Triangle)
Anthony Brandon Wong (The Matrix Reloaded)

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with wealthy optics engineer and businessman Adrian Griffin, Cecilia Kass drugs him with Diazepam and escapes their home into the nearby woods to wait for her sister Emily. After Emily arrives in her car, Adrian nearly catches her, but the pair are able to escape.Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)Cecilia hides out with childhood friend and Emily’s ex-husband James and their teenage daughter Sydney. Two weeks later, Adrian seemingly commits suicide and leaves Cecilia $5 million in his will, handled and organized by his lawyer brother, Tom. As Cecilia tries to move forward, she is plagued by several unexplained experiences. During a job interview, she faints after finding the contents of her portfolio removed and is taken to the hospital. Later, the doctor calls and says they found high levels of Diazepam in her system. Shortly after returning home, Cecilia finds the same bottle she drugged Adrian with, which she dropped during her escape, in her bathroom.Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)She arranges a meeting with Tom and James and insists that Adrian faked his death and used his optics expertise to become invisible in order to torment her, but gets rebuffed. Cecilia turns to her sister, but Emily refuses to acknowledge her after receiving an email from Cecilia’s account stating she never wants to see her again. She is comforted by Sydney, but Sydney is hit by an unseen force and she and James assume Cecilia did it. While a furious James rushes his daughter out of the house, Cecilia tries a number of tactics to catch the figure. After finding Adrian’s old phone in the attic and covering the figure with paint, she ends up in a violent struggle and flees the house, visiting Adrian’s home to investigate. In his lab, she finds a suit that confirms her suspicions. After hiding it in a closet, the invisible figure attacks again, so Cecilia flees and contacts Emily. The pair meet in a restaurant, though as Cecilia begins to tell her what she found, the invisible figure slits Emily’s throat and places it in Cecilia’s hand; framing her for the crime.Remanded to a mental hospital while she awaits trial, the staff informs Cecilia that she is pregnant. Tom visits her and offers to get her charges dropped if she agrees to “return to him” and raise the child, implying that he helped his brother stage his suicide while revealing Adrian tampered with her birth control to ensure she became pregnant. Cecilia refuses to take the deal and steals a pen from his briefcase, intending to pretend to commit suicide to draw the invisible figure out. When the figure tries to stop her, she stabs him repeatedly, causing the suit to malfunction. The security team arrive, but the invisible figure violently incapacitates them before fleeing the hospital, with Cecilia in pursuit. Having told her they will not harm her because of her pregnancy, they instead threaten to attack those she loves. Cecilia races to James’ house, where she finds the invisible figure attacking him and Sydney. She manages to shoot the figure after spraying him with a fire extinguisher, but unmasking the figure reveals Tom is in the suit. When police find a captive Adrian alive at his house, tied up in his basement, he claims Tom held him prisoner. Cecilia quickly disagrees, insisting the brothers must have shared the suit, with Adrian sending Tom to the house knowing what would happen.In an attempt to get Adrian to confess, she meets him at his house to discuss her pregnancy while James listens in on a wire. She agrees to mend their relationship, but only if he confesses that he was the invisible figure. Adrian insists that he had actually been kidnapped, claiming that his experience changed his outlook on life and how he treated her in their relationship. When she begins to cry, Adrian alludes to former abuse using similar phrasing to that of the invisible figure. Smiling, Cecelia departs to use the restroom. Moments later, the room’s security camera captures Adrian seemingly committing suicide. Cecilia emerges from the bathroom and “frantically” calls the police. Out of sight of the security cameras however, she silently taunts Adrian; having retrieved the spare suit she hid earlier to kill him. When James arrives and asks what happened, she confirms what the camera saw. He spots the suit in her bag, but accepts her story and allows her to leave. Cecilia leaves the house with the suit, smiling proudly.Where so many would-be franchises have failed by focusing too much on setting up sequels, The Invisible Man plays squarely to its strength as a strong, character driven film. Whether it connects to an extended universe remains to be seen, but the film, much like its protagonist, feels much stronger standing on its own.

 

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: DRACULA: THE COMPLETE SERIES

Image result for draculA 2013 LOGO

MAIN CAST

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors)
Jessica De Gouw (Arrow)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Victoria Smurfit (Bulletproof Monk)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster)
Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones)
Katie McGrath (Supergirl)

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula (2013)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Ben Miles (V For Vendetta)
Robert Bathurst (Toast of London)
Jemma Regrave (I’ll Be There)
Anthony Calf (New Tricks)
Anthony Howell (Foyle’s War)
Andrew Lee Potts (Alice)
Alec Newman (Dune)
Peter Woodward (Crusade)
Richard Dempsey (Chronicles of Narnia BBC)
Tamer Hassan (Kick-Ass)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man)
Thomas Doherty (Legacies)

‘Dracula’ is a bold and modern reinvention of Bram Stoker’s classic gothic masterpiece, and although it may not boast the strongest scripts or the most interesting dialogue by today’s standards, this is nonetheless a very vivid and watchable new take on a legend retold time and time again.

Dracula effectively reignites the spark of forbidden lust and desire that was at the heart of the original novel, but turns up the eroticism a few notches more. Yes, this is a very sexy show, and just as new Dracula Jonathan Rhys Meyers turned Henry VIII into a sex symbol in the outstanding series ‘The Tudors’, this time he’s giving the Prince of Darkness himself the same treatment. Vampires have always been metaphors for forbidden lust ever since Stoker first conceived the idea back in the 19th Century, and this has been prevalent during the recent vampire renaissance of the modern era. Vampires will always been inextricably linked to sex, and if you’re looking for something that is steamy, dark, romantic and tasteful all at the same time, then ‘Dracula’ should fulfil your wish.


As you might expect, a few changes have been made to the original legend, and most of them work quite well, bar a few exceptions. In this version of the story, Dracula has travelled to London in the guise of wealthy and charismatic American Alexander Grayson, who has come to London to promote a new form of safe and renewable energy that will make Thomas Edison look like an amateur arts dealer. Yes, it’s every bit as absurd as it sounds, but in reality Dracula’s entire scheme is nothing more than a smokescreen to avoid being detected and to cover up his latest scheme. What better way to avoid detection and suspicion than hiding in plain sight? There’s also an ironic poetry about a creature of the night endorsing new forms of light energy. Of course, Dracula’s real plan is far more nefarious than merely being a poster boy for efficient energy sources, as The plots to annihilate a mysterious cult known as ‘The Order of the Dragon’ from the shadows (an organisation based on a real historical order of the same name.) But after meeting Mina Murray, whom he is convinced is a reincarnation of his dead wife, Ilona, can Dracula’s heart’s desire lead him to uncover the humanity still left within him, or will it only complicate his plans further? Naturally, I’m not going to spoil anything, but Mina’s presence certainly has a profound effective on the old Count.


As you might expect, Rhys Meyers is as intense and brooding as you’d expect his version of Dracula to be, and when he’s actually playing Dracula he’s definitely at his best. His performance does falter slightly as his Alexander Grayson persona due to his dodgy attempt at an American accent, but considering Dracula isn’t American either, maybe this could be interpreted as adding authenticity to the performance. His relationship with his loyal servant, Renfield (Nonso Anozie) is definitely one of the most intriguing aspects of the whole affair, as Renfield’s character is both complicated and fascinating to observe, despite his often one-note dialogue and characteristics.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula (2013)
Professor Van Helsing, who is almost as famous as Dracula himself these days, also plays an antagonistic role, but I felt very disappointed by this depiction of Van Helsing, as he lacked the presence and menace necessary to face-off against Rhys Meyer’s formidable prowess. Jonathan Harker is also present, but frankly his character is far too dull and bares very little relevance to the plot beyond being a tool to keep Mina in Dracula’s orbit. Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s performance is also very poor, as he only ever seems capable of being mildly aloof or really pissed off, with no further spectrum to his emotional range. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the relationship between Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra, and while I won’t spoil any secrets, the show certainly takes their friendship into unpredictable territory, and it was always with great expectation I waited to see how it would unfold. Jessica De Gouw does a very commendable job as Mina, but really it’s Katie McGrath (also Morgana in ‘Merlin’) who really steals the show, giving an outstanding performance as Lucy throughout the 10 episode run.


Sadly after 10 episodes the show was cancelled leaving a shocking cliffhanger that will never be resolved.