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The Invisible is a 2007 supernatural thriller teen film starring Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva, Chris Marquette, Marcia Gay Harden, and Callum Keith Rennie. The movie was released in theaters on April 27, 2007 and on DVD and Blu-ray on October 16, 2007. The Invisible is a remake of the Swedishmarker film Den Osynlige, which was based on the novel of the same name by Mats Wahl. The Invisible was shot mostly in and around Vancouvermarker.


High school senior Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) plans to skip his graduation and fly to London for a writing program, despite the plans his controlling mother (Marcia Gay Harden) has for him. While he is a top performer in school and cares deeply for creative writing, his mother often pressures him to succeed past his abilities and remains emotionally distant. A few years prior, Nick's father died unexpectedly and the two have maintained a strained relationship in silence.

His best friend, Pete (Chris Marquette), is bullied by Annie (Margarita Levieva), a troubled teen. Coming from a troubled home, Annie looks after her younger brother, Victor, since her father and stepmother are violent and unpredictable. Having lost her biological mother several years earlier because of domestic violence, Annie's tough exterior and rebelliousness has largely been devoted to building up defenses against getting hurt. Victor is largely naive of the tempestuous nature of the house's dynamics, mainly because Annie takes great pains to put herself in between her younger brother and trouble. Even so, Annie's closest friends are a few violent thieves, and her boyfriend, Marcus (Alex O'Loughlin), is on parole for similar violations.

Pete confides in Nick that he is being bullied by Annie. Nick attempts to step in on one such occasion, only to make the problem worse as it escalates into a physical confrontation. The two are broken up, but not before exchanging several cutting remarks. Later in the day, Nick tells Pete about his plans to leave for London and the writing program there, and they share a bittersweet goodbye.

The same evening, Marcus, Annie and their crew have planned a quick robbery. Though the typical plan is for two of their friends to rob a place while Marcus steals the getaway car, Annie impulsively decides to rob a jewelry store across the street from where Marcus is stealing a car. After evading the police, Marcus tries to reprimand her, and later steal the jewels for himself, but Annie keeps them and defiantly pushes him to try and stop her. Believing Annie to be out of control, he wants to take action, but Annie knows that he's on parole and enjoys taunting him.

Rather than threaten her with physical violence, Marcus tips off the cops instead, who procure warrants for her home and locker at school within a matter of hours. Annie assumes that Pete is responsible during her arrest due to their earlier altercation and the fact that Pete was watching her load the merchandise into her locker. Arrested and later bailed out by Marcus, Annie states flatly that she knows who informed the police and will take care of it herself, not knowing or suspecting that it was actually Marcus. Ambushing Pete, Annie and her friends threaten, intimidate, and finally beat a false confession out of him. When Annie doesn't believe his innocence, Pete reluctantly gives up Nick's name in order to stop his beating, thinking that Nick will be on a plane to London already. Having already come to blows with Nick, Annie readily accepts this lie, and seeks revenge on Nick.

Meanwhile, Nick prepares for his journey to London, only to have an impromptu confrontation with his mother who discovered the tickets earlier in the day. The two share a short, detached conversation, which ends with his mother saying that he's acting like a stranger in her own house. Nick is upset, but still non-confrontational, so he decides to make a stop before going to the airport at a party that Pete had asked him to attend. While there, he attempts to share his feelings with a girl who had been coming on strong and eventually talked him up to one of the empty rooms in the house for sex. Nick, seeking emotional, not physical connection, tries talking for only a minute before turning her down completely. As he departs, he leaves his ticket to London with her, and walks out of the house, still buzzing from the drinks served at the party.

On the road home, he is ambushed by Annie, her friends, and Pete who is held captive in their car. Events spiral out of control as Nick refuses to fight back; having been hit by a car after drinking too much, he is off-balance and uncoordinated, and calmly takes the beating without making any noise at all. When Annie finishes the last few blows, she repeats his earlier cutting remarks only for him to reiterate them, which is when Annie seems to accidentally kill Nick. Annie, Pete, and the others, believing Nick to be dead, drag him through the woods and dump him in an abandoned utility drain. Annie immediately turns to Marcus for help, who refuses until she blackmails him.

The following day, Nick emerges from the woods without a scratch and with a mild fugue. When he arrives at school, it seems that his teacher and classmates are completely ignoring him. He quickly discovers by their comments that while he believed that he was well liked, several students were openly cutting both his poetry and attitude in class. To his surprise, the class is split about their regard for him; roughly half seem to have liked him and the other half thought he was pretentious. All the while, he attempts with increasing frustration to defend himself and get the attention of his peers and teacher. Despite his protests, Nick is ignored; in his rage he picks up a book and throws it against a bookshelf, only to look back and discover that the book never moved. As he continues to try and interact with his surroundings, he realizes that he can affect nothing, no one can hear him, and he is for all intents and purposes, invisible.

Believing himself to be dead, he begins trying to reconnect with his mother and visiting his old house. At the same time, police detective Brian Larson (Callum Keith Rennie), begins looking into the Nick's disappearance, telling Nick's mother that he's bending the rules to begin the investigation early since a kid is involved. After hearing about the confrontation with Annie, he goes to visit her and ask several questions. Having known Annie and her father years prior when her father was on the force, he displays compassion for her situation that Nick, now observing in his ethereal state, cannot understand. Nick frequently comments on her guilt during the conversation, but as before, no one seems to hear him. Once the police leave, Annie visits her brother and begins showing signs of a guilty conscience, telling him that she does not want him to end up like her.

Shortly after, Detective Larson traces Nick's timeline and finds the scene of the attack. A short time later, he organizes a search part to comb the woods looking for Nick. Pete is called on to serve in the search party, but is afraid that Annie will kill him too if he confesses.

Nick returns to his home to find his mother going through his things and reading his poetry for the first time. After she leaves, he sees a bird fly straight into his window. As it lies unconscious, a second bird appears looking identical to the first. The second bird can both see and interact with him, and Nick realizes that there is a chance that he is alive. Though the police had found where the attack happened, and even come close to finding Nick's body, the search is misled in their direction due to a fluke reaction that the police dogs have to Nick.

As Nick comes to realize that he's having an out-of-body experience, he attempts to reach out to Annie and Pete, in a desperate bid to save his life. Marcus, on the other hand, decides to get involved after being questioned by Detective Larson. Detective Larson seems close to putting together the whole truth, and implies that once he finds Annie, he will be able to put the robberies and attempted murder on Marcus. Since Marcus is still on parole, Detective Larson adds the pressure that even associating or participating in a felony could send him back to prison, but Marcus remains calm through the interrogation. Afterwards, he kidnaps Pete, forces him to lead him to Nick's body, the two move it together to another location. He then conspires to kill Annie as well by luring her out into the open. Giving her a call and pretending to want a meeting, Annie reluctantly decides to go. By coincidence, Annie had called Pete to the meeting place, who (under surveillance at the time) brought a team of police officers led by Detective Larson behind him. As Annie fled from both Marcus and the Police, Nick yells at her, and for the first time, she reveals that she can hear him.

Through his efforts, Annie and Nick eventually resolve their differences, find that they're not so dissimilar after all, and each finds in the other a common purpose. As the two are both isolated, Nick by his ethereal condition, and Annie by her status as a fugitive, they find that they are emotionally bonding, albeit unconventionally and indirectly. The two cannot hold a conversation, and Annie cannot see Nick, but she hears some of his voice in her head and has the sense that his presence is following her around. From this association, Annie begins to feel the effects of her actions on her conscience, and stops to visit Nick's room to get a better sense of who he is. Going through his personal belongings, Nick reveals their significance to her, telling her about his father and the photographs depicting their last days together. During her rummaging, she finds an old class picture revealing that the two attended the same grade school and shared several classes; though Nick never noticed her, Annie remembered seeing Nick and being invisible to him even then. Over time, despite their shared experiences the two never connected because of the social stratification in their schools, in effect making them invisible to each other. Nick's mother catches Annie in his room, and she flees to the school to try and get cleaned up. With no where else to go, she falls asleep on the gymnastics mats in the indoor basketball courts, while Nick's haunting presence keeps her company. Individually, the two realize the tragedy of their lives was that they were so similar that given different choices and events, the two could have been close friends and perhaps more.

The next day, Annie chooses to do the right thing and discovers that Nick's body has been moved. Nick, believing that he cannot reach Annie, visits Pete while she calls out Marcus and threatens him at gunpoint to find where he moved the body. Pete overdoses on painkillers and alcohol only to see Nick during his own out-of-body experience. Filled with regret and self-hatred, he tells Nick where they moved his body and Nick races to find it. Pete's parents find him, half-awake, shortly thereafter.

Annie confronts Marcus and extracts the information, only for the situation to escalate into a shootout. Marcus is too badly wounded to get up, while Annie is shot in a slowly bleeding wound in the stomach. She forces herself to go to the local dam, where Marcus and Pete hid Nick's body, and calls Detective Larson to inform them of his location. The paramedics and detectives reach Nick in time to save him from drowning, but are unable to wake him. Annie, seeing this as her last chance to do the right thing before she dies, races to the hospital despite being chased by the police. Using Nick's disembodied guidance, she makes it to his room and has a brief, but emotional conversation with his mother. With Nick's guidance, she reaches out to his mom, who eventually lets her into his room. Inside, Annie talks to Nick's unconscious body, making both confessions and apologies. Growing too tired to stand, she lies down next to Nick and whispers to him. Slowly, Nick awakens from the coma confirming that he could hear her and that she saved his life. Once he forgives her, Annie dies in Nick's arms.

The film ends with a scene in a state park where Victor, Annie's little brother, is flying a remote-controlled plane over the edge of a cliff. Nick walks up to him and begins making small talk. When Victor says that his sister was supposed to take him to the park, but that she is dead, Nick offers to write a message on the plane for Victor, and the two fly the plane together.

Plot Differences Between Remake and Original

In the Swedish film "Den Osynlige", of which The Invisible is a remake, "Niklas" (changed to Nick Powell in The Invisible) does not regain consciousness, and "Anelie" (changed to Annie Newton) does not end up being shot nor dies, but instead turns herself in after her confession and apology.


Filming locations

  • The setting of the film is in Burnabymarker, Washingtonmarker, a fictitious suburb of Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker, United Statesmarker. "Seattlemarker" is printed on Nick's plane ticket to "Londonmarker"; and Detective Larson's business card bears the logo of the "Burnabymarker Police Department as well as its Washingtonmarker address, however, most of the film was shot on location in and around Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, including suburb Burnabymarker, British Columbiamarker, to coincide with director David S. Goyer's busy filming schedule [director's commentary]. Despite the subtle disguises to the contrary, however, Vancouver is clearly depicted in the establishing shot of the landscape in the first scene, in which the famous Harbour Centremarker building can be seen just left of the middle of the cityscape. Additional scenes showcase Vancouver's SkyTrain running through a suburb and the seawall bordering Stanley Parkmarker.
  • The high school scenes in this movie were filmed at Burnaby Mountain Secondary Schoolmarker in Burnabymarker, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker (the name of the school remains unchanged in the film, however the mascot and its logo were changed to suit the director's taste [director's commentary]). Classrooms were digitally edited with multiple classrooms mixed in. Students of the school were not allowed to be extras.


The complete list of songs as they appear in the film:

"Music For A Nurse" by Oceansize | "Fashionably Uninvited" by Mellowdrone | "Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio | "Under Pressure" by Kill Hannah | "Bliss" by Syntax | "Open Your Eyes" by Snow Patrol | "Body Urge" by The Great Fiction | "Taking Back Control" by Sparta | "02.20 Boy" by Suicide Sports Club | "Stars and Sons" by Broken Social Scene | "Weak and Powerless" by A Perfect Circle | "Caterwaul" by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead | "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie | "Perfect Memory " by Remy Zero | "You're All I Have" by Snow Patrol

However, the soundtrack released by Hollywood Records does not contain A Perfect Circle or the first song by Snow Patrol, or even a single track of Marco Beltrami's original score, yet strangely includes 30 Seconds to Mars's song "The Kill", the video of which also appears on the DVD. The album was released April 17, 2007. The hard-copy version was discontinued by Hollywood Records but is still available for purchase in a digital format.


The words written in sharpie inside of Nick's locker are the short poem, "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal" by William Wordsworth, which makes several appearances in the film, including the whiteboard in Nick's English classroom, where Wordsworth's name is visible, as well as two or three times in the ending credits' photo montage. The verse acts as a silent refrain - a veiled conceit of the film's ultimate story, the budding relationship between Nick and Annie as he finds a reason for living and she finds a reason to give her life meaning. A similar theme is carried by the second poem that appears on the whiteboard when Nick enters his English class after he has literally become "invisible": "When I have Fears that I may Cease to Be" by John Keats.

Nick's English teacher quotes from Ezra Pound's "The Return."

Nick hides his stash of money made from selling essays in a hollowed out copy of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. There was originally supposed to be a subplot involving drugdealers and theft by Nick's best friend Pete, but it was cut early on in order to preserve the main plot. These deleted scenes are included on the DVD with optional director's commentary.

In the breakfast scene, after Nick's mother tells him he "looks pale," she asks if he's "taking the valerian root" that she got for him. Valerian root is an old herbal remedy treatment for insomnia.

Criticism and ratings

The Invisible opened at #2 in its first week at the box office below Disturbia with $7.7 million at 2,019 locations. In its second week the film had a 57.7% drop-off, staying at #4. The film grossed $20.1 million domestically and $4.0 million in foreign countries making a total of $24.1 million worldwide. The movie received mostly negative reviews. The site Rotten Tomatoes report that 20% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 54 reviews.

Blu-ray disc & DVD release

This film was released on Blu-ray Disc and standard DVD October 16, 2007 by Hollywood Pictures Home Video.
  1. Commentary by director David S. Goyer and writers Christine Roum and Mick Davis
  2. Deleted scenes
  3. Music videos:
    1. The Kill music video by 30 Seconds to Mars
    2. Taking Back Control music video by Sparta

External links

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