Greta - 2019
Director(s): Neil Jordan
Writer(s): Neil Jordan and Ray Wright
Cinematography by: Seamus McGarvey
Editor(s): Nick Emerson
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore and Stephen Rea
B horror movies provide an underrated entertainment value that tends to get lost in the shuffle we currently live today, where movies are measured as “is it the best or worst movie you have ever seen.” So, when I saw Greta's and Ma's trailer, I was excited that Hollywood was exploring the B side of horror within the renaissance the genre is currently experiencing. Walking out of Greta, I could not help to feel a bit frustrated with the potential left on the table, but I still had fun thanks to the powerful performances from its leads.
Quick note: I love this poster.
The story follows Frances (Grace Moretz), a young waitress working in New York City, and she is trying to cope with the recent death of her mother. She finds a purse left in the subway and decides to return it to her owner, Greta (Huppert). Greta is an older French woman living alone in the city. Frances immediately creates a connection with her, as they are both looking for companionship. However, Frances quickly learns that Greta is not the sweet old lady that she seems to be and the tension between them escalates to the point where Frances has to fight for her life. The potential left on the table comes from the script as it doesn't let things naturally progress and evolve, so the audience becomes invested. The relationship lasted for three scenes, so the betrayal isn't felt, and later the captivity of Frances is given the same treatment, leaving you underwhelmed with the conflict and the resolution. The backstory of Greta is a throwaway conversation, and the relationship between Frances and her father is two phone calls of stereotypes.
Quick note: the score also felt invasive and at times out of place with the tone and feel of the scenes.
Neil Jordan did a great job when it came to the visuals and the sleek look it gave to the overall film. Multiple scenes used lighting and blocking creatively use of light and blocking. Despite the weaknesses of the script, the story is carried by the performances of Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz. Huppert performance was incredibly nuance as her facade slowly falls away and she lets her true intentions show. By the end she is going full ham and enjoying every scenery she is chewing up, and the audience is along for the ride. Grace Moretz does her best to keep up with Huppert and provides a suitable dancing partner. She gives just enough terror and desperation to keep the audience engaged with her peril.
Greta is an excellent B horror movie that you cannot help to think of how great it could've been in the hands of better screenwriters. Despite my frustration with the film, I still had fun watching an incredibly talented actress in Huppert have fun as the psycho stalker killer looking for young pray in New York City. If you are a fan of this type of movies, Greta provides another entry worthy of your time. Just wait for it to hit Netflix.
Greta is a Streamer!
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