An invisible man (Claude Rains) arrives at a remote inn shrouded in goggles, overcoat and secrecy. After he’s aggravated by an over-helpful landlady he goes on a naked rampage against a disbelieving public.
One of the original Universal monster movies, this is a classic of the genre, ironically thanks in no small part to its visuals. Its great effects are used to great effect, with a whole box of tricks that look remarkably good for the time it was made. And through it all it doesn’t lose sight of its story, even if a the police effort to capture Dr Griffin is laughable.
It’s aided by a strong vocal performance from the unseen lead. Griffin, a scientist who has been injected with chemicals that make him invisible and mad, is like Frankenstein and the monster rolled into one. Let’s call it Jekyll and Hide. But he’s more a crazed lunatic than a tragic hero meaning he doesn’t have the depth of some of his fellow mutant scientists.
While he may be power-hungry, it’s set in a more innocent time than the likes of Hollow Man, who uses his ability to prey on women, or The Fantastic Four where the Invisible Woman repeatedly becomes visible while naked in public places. But lack of sexploitation aside, The Invisible Man remains a must-see.