The Invisible Review
Teen horror flicks seem to be appearing every other week just lately. Most of them are used as a vehicle for big American TV stars to make their way to the big screen. Tom Welling tried this with The Fog, a movie that received such a critical blasting, that Mr Welling promptly picked up his cape and boots and headed back to the comfort of the farm life in Smallville. You see, that's the trouble with the majority of the teen flick genre - they are not that good.
Enter Justin Chatwin from the critically acclaimed TV show Lost. In this movie, he plays Nick Powell. Nick is a talented writer who has big plans to go to London and write. His widowed mother unfortunately doesn't share his desire for him to become a writer so does everything in her power to scupper his plans.
That doesn't stop Nick from going out and buying his plane ticket though...
Nicks friend Pete, played by Christopher Marquette, himself trying the big break to the big screen via the teen horror, previously starring in TV's Joan Of Arcadia, is constantly picked on by Annie Newton (Margarita Levieva), having his lunch money stolen. Annie goes on to rob a jewellery store and is shopped by her boyfriend. She blames Pete for telling the police and he caves in. Believing that Nick is on a plane bound for London, he tells her it was Nick that squealed on her - but Nick has a last minute change of heart and doesn't go to London. Annie catches up with him and gives him a beating - leaving him for dead...
Nick subsequently takes his place in his class the next day. But there's a problem. Nobody can see or hear him - he appears to be in some sort of limbo between life and death. And only one person can save him...
OK, so The Invisible is not like every teen flick - it would have been very easy for the writers to let Nick go crazy and wreak havoc on all those that have betrayed him. Instead, we find that Nick is a compassionate person who actually has a much better life than he thinks he does. He has spent the last few years mourning his father. His mother has no time for him - and it's his mother (played by Marcia Gay Harden) who seems to be affected by his disappearance the most. She goes through the things in is room whilst he is missing and finds one of his poems, which she reads for the first time ever. Realising that she probably hasn't given her son the credit she deserves, she desperately tries to convince the police to find him.
Brought to us by the same production team that gave us the brilliant Sixth Sense, obvious comparisons have been drawn between the two movies. The Bruce Willis helmed movie is superior in just about every way to this offering. But director David Goyer, whose only previous big screen outing was the abysmal Blade: Trinity does well to keep a difficult and sometimes slow story ticking along nicely. The tension builds up nicely to a somewhat predictable climax and teens everywhere will be happy with the outcome.
For me, I would like to have known a little more about Nick - his relationship with his father seems to be an important part of the story - but is hardly mentioned. Why is his relationship with his mother so strained? Some of the other characters are just sprung on us also. For example, it's hinted at that Annies father used to be a policeman. He's now working security after the death of his wife, Annies mother. This has no doubt affected the young lady deeply - but we don't find out why he has left the force or how her mother died.
Maybe I'm going into it a little to deep. After all, the movie is aimed at the teen audience with it's PG13 certificate. They probably won't ask the same questions - will they?
As a movie, The Invisible falls somewhere in between the teen horror flick genre with a dash of mystery added all mixed up in a bowl full of drama. If you're the target audience I can honestly say that I don't think you'll be disappointed with this. If you're a parent with teenage kids, sit and watch it with them - you may be pleasantly surprised - just don't try and delve to deep into what's not there...