Spooky Watch: The Invisible Man 2020 (and How Dungeons & Dragons Almost Ruined It) @hbomax #GoodWatch #DnD

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It’s October, so all of my streaming services are suggesting horror (or horror-adjacent). I’m not a fan of the genre, or at least not of slasher films or any film relying on stupid behavior to advance the plot. Also, while I’m more than willing to suspend disbelief, I require something … anything … to provide a basis for that suspension. I don’t get that from most horror movies.

That said, I’ve had a recent string of fairly good luck with the genre, and the 2020 reboot(?) of the Invisible Man continues that trend. It’s spooky and scary in a way that preys on my own fears. Mild spoilers ahead. I don’t need people snooping on me, and the technology at the center of this movie (currently being researched in the real world) takes that to another level. It can also be used to frame you for a crime. Also spooky. The only thing missing was the use of Deep Fake to have the main character destroyed by cancel culture. That would have been the scariest thing of all, but maybe they didn’t include it to avoid an NC-17 rating. 🙂

So, how did Dungeons & Dragons almost ruin it? It took away from, dare I say, the believability of this film even after you suspend your disbelief in the underlying technology. The technology makes you invisible. Okay, I can accept that. However, every edition of D&D has taught us (you know, the nerds) that invisibility definitely does not hide the sounds you make, and it doesn’t give you superhuman strength. The villain was far too quiet and far too strong. The technology consists of a ton of cameras. There’s no noise dampening apparent from its design, and if that’s what they were going with, they should have justified it within the script by both an association with someone well-versed in that technology and something apparent in the design. Instead, presumably for dramatic effect, they actually made the technology loud when the main character first discovers it.

But I know this is just me, so even I just let that go. Accordingly, with only a couple of exceptions, stupidity isn’t necessary to advance the plot, and there’s only one instance that I noticed where the villain (sort of) appears to be in two places at the same time. Also, once an invisible person grabs you, it becomes a grappling match, and you’re not at nearly as much of a disadvantage as a fist fight. I seem to be talking myself out of liking this movie, but I still liked it. I guess I’m just a sucker.

The misdirection about 20 minutes before the end of the movie was pretty good even though I saw it coming, and the ending was satisfying if not realistic. (C’mon. The guy’s a cop.)

There are no mid-credits or after-credits scenes. You’re welcome. As always, YMMV.

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