31 Days Of Horror: The Invisible Man

10 Years of FearIt’s a dark and snowy night when a stranger arrives at The Lion’s Head Inn. He takes a room and asks for nothing but privacy. The stranger is covered head to toe in bandages. A while later the landlords decide evict the stranger – he’s behind on the rent. The stranger throws a fit and assaults the owner. The police are called and the stranger reveals his secret to all present. He’s invisible!

H.G. Well’s fantastic novel was brilliantly adapted by Universal Studios in 1933. The film holds up extremely well today even the effects haven’t truly been improved upon.

Claude Rains plays Griffin aka The Invisible Man in a thankless role where only his voice is ever heard and he spends the film wrapped up in bandages or, well, you know, invisible. Griffin is a great scientist and has discovered a formula to become invisible. There’s only one problem. He can’t become visible. Griffin has been desperately trying to find a cure but has so far failed. To make matters worse, one of the drugs that he used in his invisibility formula has driven him insane.

After fleeing the inn Griffin finds fellow colleague Dr. Kemp (William Harrigan) and sort of forces the good doctor to help Griffin. Griffin decides that what he really needs to do is terrorize the world for a ransom. Kemp betrays Griffin and calls Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers) for help and then the police. Griffin is also engaged to Cranleyyill kill Kemp and goes on a murderous rampage, derailing trains killing hundreds. Soon the police are desperate to capture Griffin.

James Whale, who directed Universal’s other big hit Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein, directed this film too for Universal. The effects are still quite good. Yes some of it is strings and wires but they also used a very early version of green screen matting. The movie is fantastic. There were four sequels made but none of them come close to the original. Here’s my original post.