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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Dan's Review: It's easy not to get hooked on "Greta"

Feb 28, 2019 07:46PM ● By Dan Metcalf

Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz in Greta - © 2019 Focus Features.

Greta (Focus Features)

Rated R for some violence and disturbing images.

Starring Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea, Zawe Ashton, Graeme Thomas King, Parker Sawyers, Jeff Hiller.

Written by Neil Jordan and Ray Wright.

Directed by Neil Jordan.



Sometimes, when I’m watching a movie, I feel compelled to scream at characters who seem to possess little, if any common sense. I’m fairly certain that in real life, most people know how to dial 9-1-1 when they see an obvious crime being committed, let alone being able to ascertain life-threatening situations. Greta, a new film from Neil Jordan, disguised as some sort of suspenseful thriller has many of those moments in which you’d like to slap the protagonist upside the head, grab them by the ears and proclaim, “DUH!”

It’s the story of Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young woman living in New York with her spoiled roommate Erica (Maika Monroe). One day on the subway, Frances discovers a purse left on a seat. Inside, there’s a few simple items and an owner’s address. Frances eventually decides to return the purse to the supposed owner, who turns out to be Greta (Isabelle Huppert), a hermit-like woman who appears to be lonely. Troubled by the loss of her own mother the year before, Frances becomes attached to Greta, and the pair begin a close relationship. All of that changes when Frances discovers several identical purses hidden in Greta’s apartment with the same items inside, along with names of other young women. Frances realizes that Greta is some sort of psychopath and withdraws from her. Greta doesn’t take the separation well and begins to stalk Frances, eventually capturing her and locking her in a hidden closet inside her apartment. Frances’s father hires a private detective (Steven Rhea) to locate his daughter when her absence becomes apparent. Erica also joins in the search, leading to a deadly showdown inside Greta’s apartment.

To say Greta is a terrible film is perhaps too kind. Not only are the performances well below par for actors with the talent of Huppert and Moretz, but the script and story are so incredibly moronic you can’t help but keep your eyes from rolling out of your head. Huppert’s “crazy lady” act is something of the dinner theater caliber, while Moretz sleepwalks her way through several bad decisions, and obvious solutions. I suppose the secret to building a good thriller or mystery is constructing characters with compelling or twisted motivations. There is nothing compelling to motivate any of the characters or their actions, leaving the audience with more shrugs than scares.  

Seriously, there wasn’t a single moment of suspense or drama during the entire film. The only mystery involved with Greta was wondering which stupid character would die last, and by then, you really don’t care.

So, avoid Greta at all costs, and if you ever find a purse on a subway, feel free to do the right thing and return it without any fear of being stalked by a crazy person.   

Greta Trailer