HG Wells is one of the greatest writers in history, but what movies were inspired by his Invisible Man, and how do they rate in comparison?
The classic Universal monsters have made their mark across cinema history. From Dracula to Frankenstein, they have seen new treatment after new treatment. One monster that remains iconic without very many incarnations is The Invisible Man.
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Created by H.G. Wells, the Invisible Man is one of the most unique of the Universal monsters.From the performances of each actor, the stories, and visual effects: The Invisible Man has thrilled and chilled audiences for over eighty years. This has resulted in several movies of many styles.
A straight-to-video sequel with only a fraction of the budget of the predecessor? Usually, a recipe for a flop, and it was. Though Christian Slater gives a decent performance as the titular villain, most of the movie falls apart due to its budget and lack of interesting characters.
It did have great ideas, including a battle between two invisible men and expanding upon the universe set in the first Hollow Man, it just could not get the execution right. It's far from a horrible sequel but definitely lacking in anything to make it anything other than mediocre.
The idea of this one sounds good on paper: a scientist uses a machine to turn a woman invisible. From there, she uses her new invisibility to get revenge on those who treated her poorly. However, it falls apart rather quickly since most of The Invisible Woman is played for laughs.
This could be excused if the movie was funny. Sadly, most of the humor did not age well and was meant for audiences at the time. The best thing about the film is still the invisibility special effects that Universal continued to master.
Despite what the title suggests, this entry has no connection to any of the other films in terms of canon. It does feature a deranged man who becomes invisible. This invisible killer is much more akin to the original as a sadistic murderer, and in some ways, he is worse than the original.
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It's a nice return to form, but it suffers from the same problem as The Invisible Woman by having no connective tissue to the previous films. It even gets confusing since the new Invisible Man's name is also Griffin (like previous ones, but has no relation).
Invisible Agent was made during the height of World War II and the concept is akin to something seen in a comic book at the time. The Nazi Regime is trying to uncover the formula for invisibility in order to create invisible assassins as weapons to win the war.A relative of the original Invisible Man must infiltrate German lines.
It's a bit more cheesy, with the Invisible Man acting as more of a hero. However, Universal managed to pull off creating a fun war thriller that is still just as enjoyable as previous movies in the series.
Speaking of comic books, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen(or LXG) features a team of superheroes based on classic literary characters. Allan Quatermain, Mina Harker, Dorian Gray, Doctor Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, etc. Among them is Rodney Skinner, a criminal turned Invisible Man who is one of the first recruited into the League.
The movie itself was a critical and box office disappointment. However,LXG can be an entertaining popcorn flick. One of the standout characters is indeed Skinner, played byTony Curran and executed through some of the better digital effects of the movie. If anybody is looking for an Invisible Man fix, one could do far worse than LXG.
After the Dark Universe failed, Universal partnered with Blumhouse for yet another restart for the Universal monsters. Their first attempt was with Leigh Whannell's The Invisible Man. This reboot takes the classic monster in a very different direction; it stripped away nearly everything resembling the original H.G. Wells book and the original film.
The 2020 reboot goes for a realistic approach by having the Invisible Man be a man in a cloaking tech suit. Also gone was the eccentric and bombastic personality of the Invisible Man to a more quiet and mysterious serial killer. While fans were divided on the film, it was a success at the box office.
When it comes toJohn Carpenter, everyone remembers The Thing or Escape From New York,whereas Memoirs Of An Invisible Man quickly faded into obscurity. Much like the 2020 reboot, Memoirs Of An Invisible Man takes its own unique direction by having the Invisible Man just be a random unlucky guy.
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Nick becomes the target of the government as he tries to get his life back. Chevy Chase provides one of his most serious performances as Nick, and he's surprisingly good. However, the real star of Memoirs Of An Invisible Man is the special effects. The invisibility effects are way ahead of their time and provide some of the bestsequences.
Though it is a continuation of the story, Claude Rains' Invisible Man does not return from the dead. Instead, his brother takes over and gives the formula to a wrongfully convicted man named Geoffery Radcliffe who uses his invisibility to prove his innocence and get revenge.
Instead of a cheaply made sequel, The Invisible Man Returns almost rivals the first film. Vincent Price stars as Radcliffe, andhe is a very different character. Radcliffe is more of an anti-hero rather than a villain. This was one of Vincent Price's first horror roles, and he is just as good, if not better than Claude Rains.
However, Claude Rains is still the man who put his stamp on the character and became an icon. When someone mentions The Invisible Man, they are likely speaking of Claude Rains' movie. The original 1933 film shows Dr. Jack Griffin begin as a man desperately trying to regain his visibility but descends into madness.
By the end, he is an invisible murderer seeking to create chaos and control the world without being seen. Not only is it a scary concept, but Griffin brings charm and eccentricity along with dark humor. Claude Rains' performance would inspire Mark Hamill's version of The Joker. Combined with revolutionary special effects,The Invisible Man became a Universal monster legend.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Hollow Man delves deeper into terror. It's a familiar story: an eccentric scientist tests a formula on himself that turns him invisible. Rather than starting to after the experiment, Hollow Man shows Dr. Sebastian Caine's process from scientist to madman through every step.
Hollow Man takes the descent into madness from the original and dials it to an eleven, creating the darkest and most psychotic of the many Invisible Men. Sebastian Caine is played brilliantly by Kevin Bacon and the special effects used to portray invisibility are extraordinary even today. There are also some gory and visceral kills for those who enjoy carnage candy.
NEXT:10 Unoriginal Horror Movies That Became Surprising Cult Gems
Next Harry Potter: The Death Eaters, Ranked By Power
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10 Movies Based On H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man, Ranked - Screen Rant
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