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The Terrifying Reimagining Of The Invisible Man

Angela Bishop caught up with the star of the upcoming film The Invisible Man, Elisabeth Moss.

Australian director Leigh Whannell has turned one of Universal's lesser monsters into something truly terrifying.

Based on the H. G. Wells novel originally published in 1897, The Invisible Man has been adapted multiple times for film, TV, stage and radio but this newest take shifts the focus dramatically.

The character of the invisible man has changed over time from a scientist driven to madness after a regrettable experiment, with the latest reimagining seeing Whannell developing something even more menacing.

In his upcoming film starring Moss, Whannell explores the story from the perspective of Cecilia, a woman trapped in a violent relationship with a scientist.

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Making a desperate escape from her abusive ex she later finds out he commits suicide -- leaving a large portion of his significant wealth to her. But when strange events and eerie coincidences begin to occur, Cecilia is driven mad trying to convince those around her that her ex isn't dead -- he's just invisible.

Speaking to Angela Bishop on Studio 10, Moss explained she felt like Whannell's take was "brilliant".

"I just felt like was kind of genius and one of those ideas that you're like 'oh, I wish I would have thought of that, that's so great'," Moss said.

"I signed onto it because I really wanted to do a horror film but I also felt like it was a true dramatic character piece."

The Terrifying Reimagining Of The Invisible Man
Elisabeth Moss stars in the new adaptation of The Invisible Man. Photo: Universal Pictures.

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For Whannell, one challenge was creating suspense out of empty spaces.

"Can I put the audience on edge just by pointing the camera down this empty corridor?" he asked AV Club. "If you buy a ticket to a movie called The Invisible Man, you're automatically suspicious of any empty space so I was kind of weaponising that audience suspicion against them."

Moss said the film had been turned into one "about gaslighting and getting out of an abusive relationship" that also focused on the very real experience of victims not being listened to.

The Terrifying Reimagining Of The Invisible Man
The new film shifts the focus to Moss' character Cecilia. Photo: Universal Pictures.

"That was a part of it that was really important to me, and really important to Leigh to get right and be in service to," Moss continued. "The idea that when a woman speaks out, when she says that something is wrong, something happened to her or she's uncomfortable and the varying degrees of that, that she should be listened to because it's really scary to say that.

"It's really difficult. Especially if you're afraid of somebody or afraid of the repercussions. For me, Cecelia losing that voice and finding it again, I hope in any small way could maybe encourage other people to find their voice as well."

​If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. A range of domestic and family violence resources based around the country can be found here.

The Invisible Man opens in cinemas across Australia on Thursday, February 27.

Feature image: Universal Pictures.