Watched: September 9 2016
Director: James Whale
Starring: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Una O’Connor
Runtime: 1h 11min
A man (Rains) is walking through a snow storm. He has 1/2 mile left to go to civilization. Cut to the Lion’s Head pub, a local pub for local people – there’s nothing for our man there! Nevertheless, the stranger enters and demands a room and privacy. Inn keeper Jenny Hall (O’Connor) is so done with his shit even before he is installed in his new rooms.
Meanwhile, the stranger’s girlfriend Flora (Stuart) is worried about him being missing and confides in his colleague Dr Kemp (Harrigan), who promptly hits on her. Classy.
The stranger, who we learn is scientist Jack Griffin, has managed to turn himself invisible and is working on a cure whilst also spiralling into madness brought on by one of the drugs in the invisibility cocktail. When the Halls finally move to evict their disruptive tenant, he throws a fit and shows off just how much of a bastard he is, assaulting the landlady and going on a bit of a spree.
After wreaking havoc on the small village, Griffin goes to see Kemp to enlist his help in creating an antidote and taking over the world. Not necessarily in that order. From that moment on things take a turn for the worse, and murder and mayhem ensue.
Despite being a horror film, this is as funny as it is scary. There’s some very entertaining slapstick (how could there not be, with a naked, invisible man with no boundries running around?), and some amazing secondary characters. Griffin himself is a megalomaniac, but it seems he has become that way after turning invisible, possibly because he is no longer confronted with himself in the mirror, or because he can now get away with pretty much anything. Or because of the “monocane” he’s injected himself with. No matter the reason, he’s kind of hilarious when he’s not running around killing people.
This film has amazing performances, great humour and very impressive special effects and we recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it.
What we learned: Don’t meddle with things man is not supposed to know. Don’t do drugs of which you don’t know the full effects. Una O’Connor is amazing.
Next time: Dames (1934)