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.
Verhoeven was not happy with the movie. In 2013, he remarked to The Hollywood Reporter, “I decided after Hollow Man, this is a movie, the first movie that I made that I thought I should not have made. It made money and this and that, but it really is not me anymore. I think many other people could have done that. I don’t think many people could have made RoboCop that way, or either Starship Troopers. But Hollow Man, I thought there might have been 20 directors in Hollywood who could have done that. I felt depressed with myself after 2002.” It partly contributed in his return to the Netherlands, his home country, where he made Black Book in 2006, which was considered a return to form.
A direct-to-video stand-alone sequel called Hollow Man 2, starring Christian Slater and Peter Facinelli, was released in 2006.
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 leaves 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.