Based on H.G. Wells’ novel, Paul Dudbridge’s Fear The Invisible Man incorporates some really interesting twists and turns to the original narrative. The story, set in Iping, a small town in England during the final months of the nineteenth century, begins by introducing us to Griffin, the genius scientist who manages to make himself invisible but cannot turn it back. He later loses the last hope, his scientific journals, to a thief named Thomas Marvel. With no one to turn to for help, he approaches his university flame, Adeline Kemp, who is a widow now and on the verge of losing her property. They try to form a mutually beneficial scheme, but the heavy toll of invisibility seems to manifest in violent ways.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Fear The Invisible Man’?
Fear The Invisible Man begins by showing us his first foray into scaring somebody with his unique condition. A tramp named Thomas Marvel is haunted by Griffin’s voice and is threatened into working for him. Marvel runs away with Griffin’s most precious belonging: a bag containing three journals, which detail all the science behind invisibility. Chasing the drifter, Griffin causes mayhem around town, and the spooky news of an invisible man wreaking havoc in Iping reaches Adeline Kemp, Reginald’s widow.
Reginald, Adeline, and Griffin were once peers studying at the university and trying to make breakthroughs in science. Presently, Reginald had passed on; Adeline lived as his widow in Port Burdock and was on the verge of losing their estate while Griffin was running around, naked and hurt. He broke into Adeline’s estate and asked her to help him, and she didn’t refuse.
Why Does Adeline Help Griffin?
Before Adeline married Reginald, she and Griffin had once grown close at the university. They would have ended up together had it not been for Griffin’s eccentric behavior and his utter disregard for others’ feelings. Griffin was obsessed, almost to the degree of insanity, with the experiments revolving around the science of light and matter, trying to find a way to achieve invisibility. Adeline couldn’t have been part of such a man’s life, so she chose to marry Reginald, who was a good man and an extraordinary scientist himself. Now that so many years had passed and Griffin was in need of her help, she decided to help him for old times sake. She didn’t expect something bad to happen if she let a wounded man rest in her mansion. The problem arises when, at night, she gets the uneasy feeling of being watched. Could she trust Griffin after so many years? He had the advantage of not being visible. She even goes up to check up on her house help, who bathed without knowing that Griffin is now living in the estate. These issues worry her, and yet she doesn’t tell anyone about Griffin’s presence.
Why Does Adeline Keep Griffin’s Presence A Secret?
When Colonel Adye, a local policeman, comes in to enquire about any strange presence Adeline might have encountered during the night, she lies and deflects the topic towards Thomas Marvel, the drifter who had stolen Griffin’s journals. Adye doesn’t believe in the presence of an invisible man, but the visible blood on the pavement could have sparked his interest in checking Adeline’s estate. Adeline immediately steps on it and hides it well.
When asked by Adye about her very keen interest in the case of the drifter, she responds wittingly that she wants to work for the mentally disturbed, and Adye’s letter of recommendation regarding a new asylum would surely help. Such lengths of deception, all for Griffin? The answer lies in the fact that Griffin has finally found the chemical formula for invisibility. This was the find of the century, if not the millennium. Adeline was a scientist herself and had the curiosity to study the matter. She was deprived of further research because, as a woman, she wasn’t allowed to sit for university examinations. Now, she finally had the chance to delve into the science of Griffin’s invention. If she had told anybody about the fact that the invisible man was not just a figment of Marvel’s imagination and was resting in her mansion, Adye would have locked Griffin up, and her chance of studying the matter would have again eluded her. Later that day, after Adye’s visit, Griffin proceeds to do something that would ensure that Adeline hesitates before going to the police in case things go awry.
What Did Griffin Do?
Adeline’s estate was to be taken away by the banks owing to the debt that she had acrrued after Reginald’s death. She had managed so far by selling away all the valuable items one by one and firing most of the house help, keeping only Margaret and Evie for all the chores. If she didn’t manage to pay the bank, the mansion would be snatched away. Griffin read the bank’s notice and handed Adeline the money he had on him to help her pay some of the debt while asking the officials to give her some more extensions to repay the rest of the amount. A woman of her status would have to live on the streets as a widow if she lost the mansion. Adeline had no choice but to take the money. She didn’t know that Griffin had broken into the bank and robbed the money, and he was simply handing over half of that amount to her, making her an accomplice. Adeline repaid some of her debt with the money. Adye spots this and is intrigued by the coincidence. He suspects Adeline to be part of something fishy, but he does not have any proof.
Delighted and grateful, precisely because she did not yet know the reality behind Griffin’s gesture, she is filled with the desire to help Griffin find a cure for his malady. The invisibility meant he had to walk around naked during the daytime. The winters had been almost deadly for Griffin, where the fog and the snow settled on him, revealing the contours of his invisible body and freaking people out. In her eyes, invisibility was more of a curse than a superpower if it wasn’t possible to return to normal. Seeing Griffin in this awful condition made her want to get the three journals, which had the clues to make Griffin as he was before. Out of gratitude, she shows Reginald’s lab to him, where he can work on his cure.
The gratitude was short-lived, however. Adye comes by and tells Adeline about the robbery, and Griffin almost attacks Adye for his deductive skills. Adeline has to appear unreasonable and ask Adye to leave. She did it to save his life, but Adye was bewildered by her behavior. She now understood what Griffin had done and what a fool she had been in trusting him so far. She had repaid the bank with stolen money, and if she ever told the police about Griffin, he could very well tell them that they worked together, and he did it under her instruction in order to save the science lab he had set up inside her mansion. Adeline should have told all of it to Adye, for the misplaced sense of gratitude would later be responsible for the murder of Council Wicksteed and Mayor Edeson, who were killed by Griffin for opposing Adeline’s proposal of opening an asylum. The only way out for her was to get the three journals as soon as possible and let Griffin be cured. After that, she could get Adye’s help. She gets contacted by Bishop Oliver White, who tells her of Marvel’s whereabouts.
How Does The Bishop Contact Adeline?
Unbeknownst to Adeline, Griffin had written several letters to the caretaker of a poor house who might have seen Thomas Marvel. He insisted they correspond with his whereabouts if they found the man matching his description. He did it all as if Adeline wanted his location to rehabilitate him and help him get the proper care. The bishop fell into the trap, but thankfully, Adeline was the one to read his letter. She goes to the location to meet Thomas Marvel, hoping to get the journals back without bloodshed.
How Does Marvel Know That Adeline Is With Griffin?
Adeline meets Marvel, who seems too proud to have harmed the invisible Griffin who had once threatened him. Her reassurance to Marvel that she is alone makes him realize that she has come on behalf of Griffin. He tells her that Griffin is a villain who wants to use invisibility to rule over the entire country. She doesn’t seem to believe the hyperbole and asks for the journals. Marvel sees a woman who is after the powers of invisibility and runs away, taking the journals with him. Marvel didn’t know the seven-letter cryptic key to solve the journals’ formulae, hence there was no worrying that he could use the journal for his own purpose, but it was absolutely essential to get them back to improve upon the reversibility of the invisibility process. She tries contacting him again, but this time Marvel shows up with his men to trap Griffin. Before they capture her, Griffin does arrive, probably following her along, and a brawl ensues, killing two people.
How Does Adye Connect Adeline To The Brawl? Why Doesn’t He Lock Her Up?
Adye visits Adeline, handing her the gun that she dropped at the scene of the brawl and thus connecting her to it. Having the evidence now, he gives Adeline a chance to come clean, for he knows that she couldn’t have managed to fight so many men alone, let alone kill two of them on the spot. Adeline is saved only by the fact that she does have an explanation for her pursuit of those journals. She tells him that the journals belonged to her late husband, Reginald, and she could go to any lengths to get them back. She tells him she doesn’t know who killed those men. Adye believes her, possibly because he secretly loves her and doesn’t want her to get into trouble. He is willing to let the matter go. When she insists on getting the remaining two books from Marvel, he doesn’t decline and takes her to meet Marvel, who is locked in a maximum-security prison.
‘Fear The Invisible Man’ Ending Explained: Will Adeline Become The Next Griffin?
Adeline had helped Griffin because she thought that there was hope to cure him and present to the world the miracle of invisibility. She didn’t know how evil he really was. When Marvel told her Griffin wanted to rule the country, she didn’t believe him. She didn’t see him as a supervillain. But when she learned that he had killed Wicksteed and pushed Mayor Edeson to his death, she knew that he was not a sane man. She gets the news of Marvel’s death and is forced by Adye to confront the fact that she helped him get murdered. She returns home with the three journals and the plan to get Griffin arrested but finds something shocking. Her realization that Griffin is pure evil comes when she finds her housekeeper Margaret tied up in the basement, with portions of her body slowly turning invisible.
Adeline understands that Griffin has experimented with his half-baked chemicals on Margaret, essentially using her as his guinea pig. She dies a painful death. Adeline tries to confront Griffin, essentially trying to distract him, knowing full well that Adye and his men are coming in to arrest him. Griffin uses his invisibility to fight Adye’s men, ending up killing them and hurting Adye.
Adeline hides the three journals in a vase and throws them out. She uses three fake journals from her bookshelf and throws them into the fire, distracting Griffin. She escapes, and Griffin follows her out in the open, where she manages to shoot him after seeing the contour of his body revealed by the fog. She helps the wounded Adye, but upon seeing the real journals, whose seven-letter cryptic key was revealed to be her own name by the dying Griffin, she knew she had a monumental discovery on her hands. She was now the sole owner of the science of invisibility, and with the code ‘a-d-e-l-i-n-e’, she could now crack the secret chemical formulas that made Griffin invisible. Adye calls her, but it looks like she is enamored by the power in her hand, implying that she could become the next Griffin, succumbing to the madness of invisibility.