The Invisible Man (1933)

Directed by James Whale
Written by R.C. Sherriff

As I continue along with the old old horror classics, films made pre-World War II which have been deemed classic in the genre, I begin to see more and more films that are not necessarily scary while watching them. However, I have come to a certain level of understanding I think in terms of realizing their entertainment value, especially considering the era in which they originally tailored to. And that is important to note, for I think, more so than any other genre perhaps, horror films are very much “of their time”. With The Invisible Man, I find it to be no different. The special effects used to produce the concept are more the attraction than the actual story I think. But I was still able to gain some interesting reflection thanks to the subject of the film.

The invisible man is one of those earlier horror films which haven’t really had a remake, except for the similar Kevin Bacon film Hollow Man perhaps. But I am a bit surprised because it has been one of the more interesting concepts of this lot of early horror films. The Invisible Man. What would you do if you could be invisible? What a great gig that would be, right? You could sneak around, spook people if you wish. It’d be easy to hide from people you don’t want to see, and even commit crimes with great ease. But the flip side of that is what this film touches on briefly, and what I reflected most upon. Being invisible would be a curse as well. Maddening even. Our fine doctor, portrayed by Claude Rains, exemplifies that.

It would drive me mad, that’s for sure. It might be good for a novel thrill, but would wear off quickly when you realize no one can see you, and as a result, you can’t see anyone either. You would be deemed different, a freak, and ostracized by all those who didn’t know you. It isn’t really much different than being an outcast in real life. A bit hard to take, and often time, you might feel as though you truly are invisible. I am more than likely delving deeper than the original intents of the film, but I often find the openness of interpretation of certain films becomes a strength. The Invisible Man is far from a perfect film, with one of its principle flaws being the lack of Claude Rains despite him being the lead character. Being invisible might do that to you. But it was an enjoyable film, and one of the better during this Shocktober series.

**1/2 – Good

Adam Kuhn

Adam Kuhn was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Saint Charles Preparatory School. He studied History at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a contributor of The News Record, the twice-weekly, independent student news organization. He has been writing film reviews and blogging since 2009.

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