Taglines: Think Invisible, Be Invisible.
Scientist Dr. Sebastian Caine (Bacon) has developed a serum that can make a subject invisible. His team of scientists, which includes ex-girlfriend Dr. Linda McKay (Shue) and Dr. Matt Kensington (Brolin), eventually enable the serum to work on a female gorilla and restore the animal back to visibility. Sebastian once again becomes obsessed with Linda while unbeknownst to him, she has become involved with Matt.
Instead of reporting his success to the military, Sebastian lies to the oversight committee, which includes his mentor Dr. Howard Kramer (Devane), convincing his team to go right into human testing. The procedure is performed on Sebastian himself. Despite the pain he undergoes, it is successful and Sebastian turns completely invisible. He then enjoys sneaking around the lab in order to scare and play pranks on his fellow co-workers. They become a little concerned that he is taking it too far. After three days, however, he is unable to revert to visibility.
Sebastian is quarantined in the laboratory due to his condition and the other researchers construct a latex mask for him to wear around the lab. Unable to cope with the isolation, he defies instructions and sneaks out of the building. The guard working there is also very suspicious but before he can do anything, Sebastian gets into his car and drives off to his apartment to bring some things back to the lab.
There, he happens to notice his neighbor disrobing and goes to her apartment where he rapes her. Linda warns him that if he leaves again, she and Matt will tell the committee about the experiment. Ignoring their threat, Sebastian assembles a device that runs a video loop of his heat signature in his quarters. He leaves the lab again and spies on Linda and Matt, becoming enraged when he sees them having sex.
The team soon discover that they have been watching a recording and that Sebastian has been escaping without their knowledge. Linda and Matt go to Dr. Kramer’s house and confess their experiments. After they leave, Kramer attempts to warn his colleagues but Sebastian, who has followed Linda and Matt to the house, cuts off Kramer’s phone connection before drowning him in his own pool. The next day, Sebastian waits until all of the team is in the lab and then disables the phones and the elevator codes except for his own. He removes his clothing and latex mask and, invisible, decides to go on a killing spree, with Janice being his first victim. He also changes the security codes of all staff.
Linda and the others hide in the lab, while Matt and Carter take tranquilizer guns to hunt for Sebastian, using thermal imaging goggles. While on top of a pipe, Sebastian throws Carter toward a steel bar, which hits his carotid artery, and leaves him mortally wounded. Matt and Sebastian get into a fight; just before the former is killed, Linda drags him to safety. After Carter dies from his injuries, Sarah heads to the freezer to get blood for a transfusion but is killed by Sebastian.
He then kills Frank with a crowbar when he lets his guard down, and locks an injured Matt and Linda in the freezer-store room, leaving them to freeze to death. Linda then constructs an electromagnet using a defibrillator and other equipment, to open the freezer door. She then gathers materials to assemble a flamethrower. Sebastian goes to the lab, where he creates nitroglycerin and puts it in a centrifuge with a timer which is meant to destroy the facility after he leaves; he also smashes the keyboard so nobody can stop the machine.
Hollow Man is a 2000 American-German science fiction horror film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin. Bacon portrays the title character, a scientist who renders himself invisible, only to go on a killing spree after going violently insane, a story inspired by H. G. Wells’ novel The Invisible Man. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects in 2001, but lost to Gladiator.
Professor of film and literature at California Polytechnic State University Douglas Keesey wrote in his illustrated book on the life and films of Verhoeven that the camera often adopts Sebastian’s point of view, “tempting us to become voyeurs along with him, to get off on our ability to see without being seen”. Elisabeth Shue categorized the film as a “story of the dark, seductive nature of evil” and also pointed out its voyeuristic qualities.
Verhoeven commented: “Hollow Man leads you by the hand and takes you with Sebastian into teasing behaviour, naughty behaviour and then really bad and ultimately evil behaviour. At what point do you abandon him? I’m thinking when he rapes the woman would probably be the moment that people decide, ‘This is not exactly my type of hero’, though I must say a lot of viewers follow him further than you would expect.”
Hollow Man (2000)
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle, William Devane, Rhona Mitra, Pablo Espinosa, Margot Rose
Screenplay by: Andrew W. Marlowe
Production Design by: Allan Cameron
Cinematography by: Jost Vacano
Film Editing by: Mark Goldblatt
Costume Design by: Ellen Mirojnick
Set Decoration by: John M. Dwyer
Art Direction by: Dale Allen Pelton
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language and some sexuality / nudity.
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: August 4, 2000