If the characterization would have been given priority than the tension would have a lesser impact so you can say the less characterization is like a necessary evil. Whanell's depiction of horror might be distressing and certainly isn't for everyone. The rawness of Moss's character losing the grip of reality and even losing her friends and sister's company might be unappetizing for many.
The Invisible Man starts with Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) slowly escaping the house of her abusive ex i.e... Adrian Griffin (Oliver Cohen), the tension is built since the start. At first, the movie looked a bit dependant on jump-scares but then slowly it takes an actual horrific start. There are different normal routine work that she is scared to do, she always feels like that if she goes out Adrian will be out there as well. Suddenly one day she gets the news that Adrian is dead. She comes to know that she is also entitled to some amount of money but there are things which are slowly making her believe that Adrian's death is a hoax. One thing after the other makes her believe that Adrian is using some tech to turn himself invisible and is stalking her. No one is beliving her and particular incidents of her with her sister or her friend definitely made her look like the insane culprit and not the victim.
What really stands out in the movie is the amazing camera work, at times there are frames in which everyone has left a room but the camera is still focused on a particular corner which makes you think all the time that an invisible man is standing there even if it might be just a late cut which actually tells how even cinematography can be a part of mystery and the last I saw such a use was in Irreversible whose camera work is very random and it played an important role in building up a sense of mystery. The plot is very unique and Moss is kinda expert in playing the character of a scared person. Her performance alone gives you chills. Moss's character almost changes like the way it did in The Handmaids Tale, first all soft and scared and suddenly she is all ready to do bad stuff.
The pace of the movie is deliberately slow in the first half and after the first half the pace escalates at a rapid rate and doesn't slow down at all. Also, the setting of the movie is effectively chilling and terrifying, especially Adrian's house is really stylish yet horrifying, there are instances like when Cecilia return to his house you can see things covered in white cloth and it often makes you think that Invisible Man is hiding in one of them. The rain, the darkish tone of frames, all works very conveniently for the movie. Stefan Duscio as the cinematographer makes this sure that you get a sense of anxiety at almost every frame. The end fight sequences of police and the invisible man were really well choreographed and executed. Brilliant use of technology and camera work, again. The Upgrade fans won't be disappointed.
There is always a tension in your mind to spot where the invisible man can be, imagine watching Paranormal Activity for the first time and spotting all the ghosts. Composer Benjamin Wallfisch individually creates different scores for Adrian and Cecilia. Electronic beats like drone music are given for Adrian, whereas Cecilia is scored by a more expected orchestral arrangement. The articulacy and recital of the score and film together give The Invisible Man an immersive quality which is delightfully unsettling.
The biggest issue of the movie is that there is less time for characterization, Moss 's drive for revenge looks necessary but certainly lacks depth because we never see how traumatic her past was, we never see glimpses of the abuse she suffered. A conversation about it looks okay but probably some instances could have been narrated in a better manner. The supporting cast acted brilliantly but their characterization never forms the considerable ground for development. But if the characterization would have been given priority than the tension would have a lesser impact so you can say the less characterization is like a necessary evil. Whanell's depiction of horror might be distressing and certainly isn't for everyone. The rawness of Moss's character losing the grip of reality and even losing her friends and sister's company might be unappetizing for many.
Overall, The Invisible Man gives a horror story we all needed from the spectrum of invisibility but lacks characterization which might be deliberately planned to help the tension factor.
FINAL VERDICT - 4 / 5 .
Definitely watch this.