Onward vs. The Invisible Man

I thought I’d give Prime Video Cinema a try since we’re not allowed to leave our homes (and the theatres are closed).

I’m not gonna lie, the two “In-Theatre” purchases I made were expensive. But, one of these movies was so good that I won’t just see it again on my couch, I’ll list it as one of my top five movies of 2020…

In one corner, we have the Disney-Pixar flick about two teenage brother elves who try to conjure a magical spell that can bring their father back to life for 24 hours, and in the other corner – a thriller hybrid about a woman desperately trying to escape her abusive husband who can “see everything” with his cutting edge surveillance technologies.

(Both sound like they could only be movies, right?)

And, with each movie comes the unwritten protocol to suspend disbelief, sit back, and “go with it.” Sometimes, a movie is so well executed that it makes you believe in its manufactured world, despite the occasional loophole.

I call this the “wonderment factor” in movies. It is the pendulum between being too far fetched and consistently otherworldly. Theoretically, if the other world created by the movie provides its own logic and stays true to its logic (no matter how illogical is might be in the real world), then the viewer can enjoy a sense of wonderment. In my opinion, The Village (2004) leaned too implausible to entertain; Minority Report (2002) was just right.

Take The Invisible Man. Never have I seen such a fusion of thriller, sci-fi, and horror masterfully blend the tangible with the fantastical. From the psychological stronghold the husband has over his wife (bravely played by two-movies-and-a-show-a-year Elizabeth Moss) to the possibility of his paranormal presence after his death, to a whole other level I won’t spoil, this thing pushes and pushes and captivates and captivates. With each unfolding scene comes an explanatory scene that validates the past scene, and you just “go with it.” It is astonishing, and even with a couple of plot holes at the end, the wonderment factor not only entertains, it makes you believe because you want so desperately the reprieve of Elizabeth Moss’s character.

Most remarkable of all is the Me Too overtone that permeates an urgent message above The Invisible Man‘s entertaining qualities.

Onward is what you’d expect out of any Disney-Pixar family fare: It appeals to most ages, is visually stunning, loud 80% of the time, contains a touching message, and voids all suspension of disbelief from the first minute because it is set in a suburban fantasy world where centaurs, unicorns, and elvish folk talk and fly around. There are some funny moments (Chris Pratt’s character unleashes Jack Black’s School of Rock vibe brilliantly, regardless of the intention), there are some loud, visually busy moments (the chase scenes go on too long), and there are some odd moments (the conjuring of the father with just the legs is a one trick pony gag that also goes on too awkwardly long).

As we already know, these are crazy times we live in. Being hunkered at home has its place for movies. I’m glad theatre onscreen options are available, but even if you have the streaming services, they can be expensive ($19.99 a pop!). I’d say if you’re a movie fanatic like me, and you want something new and enthralling for two hours, The Invisible Man is absolutely worth it.

Onward *** out of *****

The Invisible Man ****1/2 out of *****


20 thoughts on “Onward vs. The Invisible Man

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    1. Thanks for reading, Mitch. With the lapse of theatre viewing and slow moving (and expensive) transition of Theatres to VOD, I think The Invisible Man remains my favorite of the year!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise! Yours has unique focus and personal reflection. Yes, it’s hard to believe we were in the theatre a few weeks ago. How long will this last? Thank God for movies (even at home)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m with you on both of these films. Onward was okay but flawed but Invisible Man had real power. The moment she drops the paint through the hatch and you see him, right there up close, for the first time is one of the most striking images I’ve seen in cinema for a while. (I was actually able to see it in a cinema before the UK lockdown.)

    What where the plot holes you are talking about?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed – that paint scene was my first not only jump scare but fascinating comprehension that the ghost was no ghost but and invisible man – and I was elated to suspend disbelief for that! The main plot hole that bugged me was the quick elapsed time between the takedown of the brother and the takedown of the older brother in his own house. How much time was implied because not only did the older brother look unfazed by supposedly being held hostage, his house looked brand new! Small but noticeable. But, maybe I missed the implied time elapse…


  2. I saw The Invisible Man in the theaters before lockdown. I thought it was an above average horror flick. The first hour was very slow, but it paid dividends with some very creative scary moments in the second. The ending felt a bit flat for me as it was unclear as to who was the mastermind behind everything we saw. But may be that was their intention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going with suspension of disbelief, I think it was the workings of the older, controlling brother who manipulated his younger brother to help. I think what fascinated me the most about The Invisible Man was how it transformed its first attempts at paranormal (his “spirit” may be looming) into sci-fi (no, it’s state of the art invisible suit technology) to whodunit, and finally to a socially aware payback. Going into this without knowing much, I enjoyed the gradual unfolding of one possibility to the next.

      These are crazy times we live in! I hope you’re staying sane. Movies are my life support right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Reely,
        I like your description about the movie morphing into different sub-genres. I can’t remember exactly why I was confused at the end (I would need to see it again), but I had a ‘Parasite’ type of reaction to it Haha. You see, I like redeeming characters and the protagonist wasn’t one. She became a blood thirsty bitch in the end just like the basterd-brothers who conspired to do her in. I think also there was enough to think that she was actually mentally ill and everything was just an illusion. Also unless I’m mistaken Adrian might have been telling the truth in the end. So it just left so much unanswered, but still a decent movie. I enjoyed Hereditary a whole lot more.

        You are right, we live in crazy times friend. You take good care of yourself and of your family!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay for Minority Report! 😀
    I’ll probably give a chance to The Invisible Man at some point, but seeing as I just finished watching Ford Vs Ferrari it may take a while 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How are things in New Zealand? We’re struggling in the states :/ I hope you enjoy The Invisible Man. It plays out like a melodrama but has a fun twist every ten minutes, keeping you guessing (and having fun in your shelter in place).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NZ is fairly safe at the moment, and the government introduced some solid safety measures, so I’m quite hopeful we won’t get the virus as badly as some other countries… Hope you’ll stay safe and healthy!

        I’ll definitely try it out at some point! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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