As the co-creator of Saw, Leigh Whannell is notorious for putting audiences through the wringer — at least in the first three movies in the grisly series — by concocting various bone-breaking contraptions and flesh-ripping challenges. But in his latest, The Invisible Man, the Melbourne-born filmmaker, 43, didn’t rely on any torture devices to wind viewers up. In fact, you hardly see the perpetrator.
Produced by Jason Blum, the sci-fi horror, Whannell’s third film as director — after 2015’s paranormal activities-packed Insidious: Chapter 3 and Upgrade, the 2018 cyberpunk thriller about a quadriplegic getting AI implants — stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia, a woman trying escape her abusive ex Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who continues to stalk her with a cloaking suit he invented.
When 8DAYS.SG catches up with Whannell over the phone from LA recently, The Invisible Man topped the American box-office over the weekend with US$28.2 million (S$40 million). At press time, it has grossed nearly US$100 million worldwide — not bad for a movie that cost US$7 million to produce.
After a whirlwind press tour, Whannell is happy to spend a quiet weekend in LA. “Last night we had a little celebration in a restaurant with people who worked on the film,” says Whannell who began his career as an actor appearing in the long-running Aussie soap Neighbours. “It was really fun and low-key,” he adds.
It’s also a great time for Whannell to play catch up with his three kids — daughter Sabine Silver, seven, and twin sons Jones Grey and Wren River, two. “Obviously, when you are making a movie, you have to be away a lot,” he tells us. “I just want to reconnect with them.” Here we interrupt his family time (sorry!) and ask him what is his favourite part of the villain's lair.