Author: H. G. Wells
One of the most famous “horror” tales in the English language, The Invisible Man is a classic among classics, an over-100-year-old masterpiece that set the tone for what sci-fi scares would become today. That doesn’t mean it’s a phenomenal read for modern audiences, but despite any personal opinion, the fact remains that it is still a bedrock for the genre, and without it nothing freaky would have been anywhere near what it is right now. For that reason alone, we owe The Invisible Man a debt of gratitude.
In London, a talented scientist experiments with the bounds of nature, with successful yet catastrophic results. Told in an account from the region and from the people who lived through the experience, this is a tale of a madman on the loose, an invisible man who will go to any length to continue his research, use any advantage to get what he wants, and who cares for no man’s life. As the deranged fugitive runs rampant, the English countryside is in an uproar, and his capture his paramount, even while we all struggle to ask the simplest of questions; why?
For my money, The Time Machine is a much, much better story. It’s shorter, sweeter, more entertaining, and creepier in a much more fascinating way. The Invisible Man relies of violence being scary, and that just doesn’t work; maybe it did for audiences 125 years ago. Perhaps the tale itself doesn’t hold up extremely well, like Frankenstein it feels old fashioned and doesn’t work exactly the same way now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value here. This story opened so many doors in frightening realms of horror and sci-fi and suspense and bloodshed, that we simply can’t forget it, even if it we can’t really love it.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆