Invisible Man dark theory suggests the ending is actually all a dying fantasy

Ian Sandwell

From Digital Spy

The Invisible Man spoilers follow.

The Invisible Man has now appeared in your homes after Universal made the brilliant horror movie available to rent digitally.

Leigh Whannell's sharp reimagining stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia who is being gaslighted by her abusive ex Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) after he fakes his own death, becoming the eponymous villain.

After a few twists and turns, The Invisible Man ends with Cecilia turning Adrian's technology against him and getting revenge.

But a new theory, suggested by Den of Geek, argues that the ending – and the entire third act – might be darker than we think.

Photo credit: Universal

When Cecilia is in the secure mental facility, she acts as though she's going to take her own life to stop Adrian's evil plan to make her have his baby. This is all a ploy to draw Adrian out and it works.

This kickstarts a chain of events that sees Cecilia escape the facility, Adrian's brother Tom be revealed as the invisible man and Adrian rescued after being 'kidnapped' by Tom before his rampage started.

Of course, Cecilia knows that Adrian has set Tom up (although Tom is a wrong'un too), so the final sequence sees Cecilia head to Adrian's house, attempting to get him to confess to everything.

He doesn't, so Cecilia uses the suit to make it look as though Adrian takes his own life, making sure that the cameras in her house backs up the story.

It's a happy ending in the context of The Invisible Man and almost too neat of an ending for such a dark horror. The theory suggests that, actually, the entire moment from Cecilia faking her suicide is all a dying fantasy.

Photo credit: Universal

Den of Geek use the basis of a common horror trope taken from Ambrose Bierce's 1890 short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.

This sees a man escape his execution when the rope snaps and drops him into the river below. He heads on a journey back to his family, but when he arrives home, we discover that he didn't actually have a death-defying escape, it was all a hallucination.

It's a twist that has been used in the likes of The Descent and Jacob's Ladder, and the theory suggests it happens in The Invisible Man from the moment Cecilia stabs herself.

Everything after that is Cecilia imagining her revenge against Adrian, which explains why there are 'plot holes' like why Adrian suddenly decided to go on a violent rampage and how he managed to blockade himself in his house with only the dog for company.

As the theory argues, there's no doubt that The Invisible Man turns into a very different movie after the key moment in the facility. It turns from being a slow-burn horror into a fast-paced sci-fi action movie.

Photo credit: Universal

So as depressing as it might be to imagine that Cecilia didn't really exact her revenge on Adrian, it's an effective reading of the movie.

One thing that goes against it and suggests that everything we saw did happen though are quotes from writer/director Leigh Whannell and star Elisabeth Moss.

"You can imagine if Bruce Willis were to die at the end of Die Hard. Everyone would want their money back. Horror and thrillers allow experimentation a lot more than in other genres," Whannell explained.

Moss added: "I don't think you can put a character through all of that and then not have them have some redemption in the end, even if it's complicated... You don't want to watch this whole movie and then have her die. That'd be terrible!"

The Invisible Man is available to rent digitally in the UK on Prime Video UK, iTunes, Sky Store and Google Play.

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