Upon hearing about yet another film adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel "The Invisible Man," I felt a bit hesitant, given the countless previous versions. However, to my surprise, this film takes a smart approach by returning to the novel's original Victorian era, avoiding any unnecessary modern reinterpretations.
The movie opens with a gripping scene in which Griffin (portrayed by Mike Beckingham) races against time to complete his experiment while facing eviction from his landlord. Injecting himself with an experimental substance, he vanishes, leaving his flesh and bones behind in a visually impressive sequence. From this point on, the story unfolds as Adeline (played by Mhairi Calvey), struggling to maintain her husband's manor after his death, comes across the shocking truth of Griffin's invisibility.
Despite being a low-budget film, the special effects during Griffin's transformation are remarkably well-done, becoming the highlight of the movie. The story, although over a century old, remains captivating, focusing not only on the familiar premise of a man going insane due to invisibility but also on Adeline's character and her journey through the unfolding horrors.
The film does take some liberties with the original story, such as changing the character of Kemp to Adeline Kemp, which introduces a love interest angle. However, these changes do not detract from the overall enjoyment.
Due to budget constraints, many of the scenes with Griffin are set in the dark to hide potential visual imperfections, but this minor issue does not hinder the film's impact. Mhairi Calvey's strong performance holds the movie together, and Mike Beckingham's voice acting complements the film effectively.
A refreshing and well-executed retelling of "The Invisible Man" set in Victorian England.
A gradual buildup from thriller to horror in the final act.
Mhairi Calvey's compelling performance and strong direction make the film engaging.
Despite the limitations, the movie is well-filmed and directed, showcasing the filmmakers' skill.
Some of the CGI effects, particularly the 19th-century London backdrop, could have been improved due to budget constraints.
The film lacks some classic Invisible Man cliches that fans may have expected.
A slight trimming of the runtime, from 95 to 80-85 minutes, would have tightened the pacing.
"Fear the Invisible Man" is a commendable adaptation. The attention-grabbing transformation scenes and a well-told story, centered around Adeline's character, make it a movie worth watching. With good acting and direction, the film overcomes its budget limitations and delivers an enjoyable experience. I would rate it a respectable 8/10 and recommend giving it a watch."
Review by Jon Donnis