You betta not mess with 'Greta' A Brandon Schreur Review

Greta

Want to see Greta but don’t have an hour and 39 minutes to spare this weekend? No worries! Just watch the trailer! It’s literally the exact same experience as the film itself as the promo material doesn’t make any effort whatsoever to save a single twist for the movie itself!

Greta is a new thriller/horror film from Neil Jordan — an Irish director who’s made a number of movies that I sadly haven’t seen or, in most cases, heard of. 

Yes, I know, I’ve seen a lot of movies but sometimes there are some filmmakers who just fall through the cracks. Guess I have some catching up to do.

At a glance, you wouldn’t suspect that Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert, in a much more "normal" (?) movie compared to her last outing, Elle) would be capable of causing any kind of harm to anyone.

Greta
credit: YouTube

She might seem a little odd, at times, sure. Her house may be surrounded by pictures of her now deceased family and she may spend far too much time playing the piano than you might have thought possible, but, really, that’s just because she’s lonely.

How dangerous could an older, fragile lady like that really be?

Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz) certainly doesn’t think she’s any kind of threat, at least at first. In fact, upon meeting Greta, Frances thinks of her as a friend.

Maybe it’s because Frances, herself, is somewhat lonely, too. While she lives in an upscale New York apartment (even though a place like that must cost an arm and a leg and the only job Frances has is as a waitress) with her best friend, Erica Penn (Maika Monroe — where has she been?!), Frances has been feeling a bit lost ever since her mother unexpectedly passed away about a year ago.

Greta
credit: YouTube

Her father, Chris (Colm Feore), offers some level of comfort, but his solution to the grief was to marry a different woman almost immediately, so his support is limited to say the least.

That’s why when Frances finds Greta’s purse on the subway and is invited into her house, she graciously accepts — maybe it could lead to a real, healthy relationship between the two of them, which they both so desperately need.

Yet, that’s not really what happens.

Greta, as it turns out, is holding onto a number of secrets. Secrets that are rather sinister and deadly in nature, thus changing the meaning of their relationship completely.

Greta
credit: YouTube

And, because I don’t feel the need to explain ever plot-point of the film to you, that’s all I’m going to say about what happens in the movie. Yes, you’ve probably seen the trailer at this point and therefore already know everything that happens, but I’ll still try to preserve the experience nonetheless.

Of course, I’m well aware that you can’y *really* hold a trailer against the film itself. Jordan, Huppert, Moretz and everyone else involved in Greta’s production had no say over what would be put into the movie’s marketing, meaning it’s not their fault that the audience knows every twist before the opening credits even start to roll.

That being said, even if I hadn’t seen the trailer to Greta, I still think I would have seen a great number of the so-called twists coming long before they actually hit.

The first two acts of Greta largely play out in the exact fashion that you’d expect them to. They’re pretty much hitting every cliché in the book when it comes to stalker movies, as this is largely reminiscent of a great number of 80’s or 90’s thrillers that have pretty much been done to death at this point.

Greta
credit: YouTube

While being able to guess what happens in a movie doesn’t necessarily ruin the entire experience, it’s a problem when Greta leans into those twists so heavily. The filmmakers seem to think that this is the next The Sixth Sense or Get Out (with other echoes of The Gift or Ingrid Goes West thrown in there), where all they seem to really be worried about is trying to pull the rug up from under the audience.

The results are about as predictable as you’d expect.

That being said, even with the clumsy and boring set-up, there are still some things about Greta that aren’t half bad.

As a whole, I like at what Greta is, or is at least trying to be, about. There’s some substance that could be mined out of this whole idea of grief, depression and believing women. Yes, the movie is about one woman stalking another woman, but there are more than a few scenes in which Frances is trying to convince a man that she’s been followed and they refuse to believe her, giving it that much-needed level of relevancy.

Greta
credit: YouTube

I also like that the movie is just about two — or three if you count Monroe, who kind of just disappeared after The Guest and It Follows, but proves that she can still be a ton of fun when she's actually cast in movies — strongly written female characters. There aren’t any love interests or anything like that, it’s just about them trying to survive the situation they’ve been put in.

Part of that is also helped along by a showy but still enjoyable performance from Huppert.

While I like Monroe and I like Moretz (who I think can be great when she’s given dramatic roles like this or The Miseducation of Cameron Post), this is really Huppert’s show as she’s the one who gets to act crazed and weird. If Greta had just been 90 minutes of Huppert dancing around her living room and force-feeding cookies to Moretz, I think it’s safe to say we all would have enjoyed it a bit more.

The third act is one that’s relatively enjoyable, too. Again, it doesn’t pack the punch it may be going for just because everything has been so on-the-nose up until that point, but they’re at least able to create a satisfying conclusion to the whole thing.

Greta
credit: YouTube

In the end, Greta isn’t a train-wreck but it also isn’t something that’s revolutionary, either. Even when you compare it to something like Arctic — a movie that also played into all of the hallmarks of its genre — Greta falls flat because it doesn’t have all that interesting of a story to accompany it as Arctic did. I won’t go as far to say that this movie is abysmal, but it’s also one that’s going to completely fade out of the public’s consciousness within two weeks (especially when you stop and consider how all the big releases that are about to drop).

Watch the trailer for Greta here (or don’t, if you plan to see the movie and want to save some of the surprises for the theater) and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought of the film!

You betta not mess with 'Greta' [REVIEW]
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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.