The Invisible Man trailer didn’t leave a lot of people guessing – yes, there really was an Invisible Man, no Elisabeth Moss’ Cecilia wasn’t “just crazy”. Despite this, the film still managed to shock, spook, and leave audiences gasping.
Yet there was also space for audiences to be left confused. The movie doesn’t explicitly explain what happened or why, which allows it to keep its pace but also might leave viewers wondering how they got where they are.
As we explain just what happened in The Invisible Man, we’re going to run into spoilers so if you haven’t seen it yet, steer clear. You can read our spoiler-free review instead.
The premise begins with Cecilia escaping an abusive marriage to optics-specialist Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who takes his own life two weeks later. Despite his death, she soon begins feeling like he’s still around, invisible and taunting her.
Everyone around her thinks she’s letting her residual fear and PTSD get the better of her, especially since Adrian left her money (on the condition she isn’t convicted of a crime or proven mentally unstable). Cecilia decides to put it behind her and attends a job interview, but when she opens her portfolio to show her work it’s empty.
Soon after she begins to feel sick and then passes out. Her blood-work reveals that she had high levels of Diazepam in her bloodstream – the same drug she used to sedate Adrian the night of her escape.
She goes to her sister Emily, who helped her escape and put her up at her friend’s house (a cop named James played by Aldis Hodge), but is met by a cold shoulder. Emily says she got a nasty email from Cecilia and she closes the door in Cecilia’s face.
Back at James’ home, James’ daughter (Sydney, played by Storm Reid) tries to comfort Cecilia but is suddenly hit across the face by an invisible force. But because Sydney’s head was down she didn’t realise it was an invisible Adrian and assumes Cecilia hit her.
James takes his daughter to safety and Cecilia, searching the house for Adrian, discovers his mobile phone, a knife in a plastic bag, and her missing sketches in the loft. Cecilia heads back to Adrian’s house and finds hidden in his workshop a suit that makes its wearer invisible.
She convinces Emily to meet her in a restaurant, but just as she’s explaining what she found, invisible Adrian grabs a knife and slices Emily’s throat before putting the knife in Cecilia’s hand, framing her for the murder. She’s taken to a secure mental facility where she’s told she’s pregnant.
Adrian’s brother Tom (Michael Dorman) visits, revealing that he knows she’s pregnant and he and Adrian will make the charges disappear if she agrees to return to Adrian. Cecilia declines, steals a pen from Tom’s briefcase, and later tries to take her own life, but as a trick. It works – Adrian grabs her hand to stop her, and she jams the pen into his suit, causing it to glitch.
They scuffle, and a fight between Adrian and various guards in the hospital ensues during which Adrian and Cecilia escape the facility. He threatens to kill Sidney and heads to James’ house, followed by Cecilia.
James rushes home (thanks to a warning call from Cecilia) and struggles against the invisible man before Cecilia shows up, sprays the invisible man with the fire extinguisher to reveal where he is and shoots him.
When she pulls off his mask it turns out to be Tom, not Adrian – Adrian is discovered by police in his home, bricked into his own basement (which he accomplished after leaving the mental hospital).
He tells the cops that his brother Tom is the manipulator and aggressor, but Cecilia doesn’t buy it, saying: “He set his own brother up. This is what he does. He makes me feel like the crazy one.”
She decides to confront him, getting dressed up and going to his house for dinner to try and get him to confess, while James sits in a car outside listening on a wire.
Adrian refuses to admit what he’s done, but during the conversation, he says the word ‘surprise’ (the sole word he uttered to her when he first confronted her in the invisible suit) so Cecilia knows that her instinct is correct.
She goes to the bathroom and changes into the suit, comes back out and kills him, framing it as a suicide and makes sure that the cameras in Adrian’s house will corroborate the story.
As she leaves, James confronts her and sees the invisible man suit in her bag, but agrees to keep her secret, saying that yes it looks like he killed himself. She steps fully into the night air and breathes free for the first time.
The Invisible Man is in cinemas now.
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