The Invisible Man Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The Invisible Man is a psychological thriller that features Universal’s shapeshifting, classic monster against a backdrop of a modern woman facing her tormentor. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2020
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Written & Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: May 26, 2020

“What You Can’t See Can Hurt You”

Synopsis:

“The Invisible Man is a psychological thriller that features Universal’s shapeshifting, classic monster against a backdrop of a modern woman facing her tormentor.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

The Invisible Man follows a modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character. Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) slowly begins to rebuild her life after the death of her abusive and controlling ex-boyfriend (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). After a series of bizarre occurrences, she begins to question whether or not he is truly gone. When the police and those closest to her don’t believe her story, she realizes that her only recourse is to take matters into her own hands.

There have been several modern films featuring characters inspired by the iconic character of The Invisible Man. I am a fan of the horror/thriller genre so The Invisible Man looked to be right up my alley. Elisabeth Moss can just flat out act so, her presence was a bonus. I liked the concept here but, wasn’t crazy about the lack of character/relationship building which, given the plot/narrative, is an essential component to deriving the most from the story’s thematic tone which is really more psychological thriller than horror.

In that vein I enjoyed the tension over the course of the first half of the film. I mean the predictability of the unfolding events is a given but, I found myself caught up in it, which means it’s doing what its designed to do. Unfortunately, things begin to erode and, by the final act there is an implosion where the plot descends into a series of silly clichés /contrivances that despite one or two clever twists, leave The Invisible Man floundering.

Elisabeth Moss gives a strong performance which frankly, keeps the film afloat, even with its shortcomings. The supporting cast, most notably Aldis Hodge are fine but, I would like to have seen Oliver Jackson-Cohen get more screen time because, he owns every scene he is in.

It would be fair to say that I enjoyed The Invisible Man due to the total sum of its parts rather than it being a wholly gratifying film experience. Everyone’s mileage on this one will probably vary.

Replay Value: 3.5 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some strong bloody violence and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness of platform: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

The Invisible Man comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Us was derived from a 4.5K source, and rendered from a 4K DI. From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in this presentation. At times the image is nearly devoid of color, while at others, has a pleasingly diverse palate, that sets the mood of a scene. Shot digitally the image has a smooth aesthetic, with clean delineation that draws out plenty of detail, in both close-up and wide-angle camera shots. Blacks are deep without compromise to fidelity, as the layers of detail seen with them is readily apparent. Contrast abounds as the richness of the depth seen in grays, whites and mid-tones pops in the film’s variety of low-level sequences. Fleshtones adhere to the film’s visual aesthetic and appear consistent throughout the presentation.

As I alluded to earlier The Invisible Man isn’t a predominantly colorful film however its cooler chromatic hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing warmer and pleasing to the eye. There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. I wasn’t especially impressed with its application although some of that may be owed to the nature of the photography. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant but, none really stood out.

This Ultra HD rendering makes the most of the film’s elements, which are excellent. Looking at the 1080p version, which is solid in its own right, the difference is noticeable, but not what I would describe as night and day. That being said, there is no question about which of the two makes for the most engaging viewing experience.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Forum Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR10 presentations for The Invisible Man, I found the HDR rendering to essentially be identical. As I alluded to earlier, this film’s elements aren’t consistently lent to bright color and vibrant highlights. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR10 renderings, any minute differences were negligible and not enough to warrant a rating difference. Both looked terrific, leaving me similarly satisfied with what I saw.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made effective use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a blend of atmospherics, discrete sound objects and music. There are several key moments that show off the track’s eclectic music and, use of sound effects that create a wonderfully involving listening experience, that broadens the soundstage. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere as well as the integration of ambient extension and pointed sound object placement. I think that it complimented the source material and drew me into the film when it mattered most.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

The Invisible Man comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Framed at 2.39:1 the image has excellent depth, and a stimulating visual aura. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. Us looks great on Blu-ray.

The lossless Dolby True HD 7.1 (Atmos core) soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however the elements of suspense provide an enriching level of immersion which is punctuated by palpably rich bass that rumbles with authority. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this soundtrack as it augments the thematic tone of this film.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: The Invisible Man Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
  • Disc 2: The Invisible Man Blu-ray Review
    • DELETED SCENES
    • MOSS MANIFESTED – Elisabeth Moss describes the physical and emotional challenges she faced while portraying Cecilia, a woman whose truth is constantly questioned by those around her.
    • DIRECTOR’S JOURNEY WITH LEIGH WHANNELL – Director Leigh Whannell acts as tour guide through principal photography, from day 1 to day 40.
    • THE PLAYERS – Filmmakers and cast provide an in-depth analysis of each character and how they interact with the unseen terror of THE INVISIBLE MAN.
    • TIMELESS TERROR – A behind the scenes look at how writer/director Leigh Whannell re-imagined this iconic character through the lens of modern technology and socially relatable themes.
    • FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR LEIGH WHANNELL
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Written & directed by Leigh Whannell The Invisible Man follows a modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character and is a serviceable psychological thriller that would have benefitted from a tweaked script. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall video quality and engaging lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos listening experience. The Invisible Man easily qualifies for a spot near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue or as a purchase for fans.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems