Sometimes doing the right thing has consequences.
“Greta” is a new thriller directed by Neil Jordan (“Interview with the Vampire,” “The Crying Game”) starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert, with a story centered on an increasingly uncomfortable relationship between their characters. The film has garnered mixed reviews from critics and fans, currently holding a 55 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, an average rating of 6.2/10 on IMDb and a 53 approval rating on Metacritic.
This film is a surprisingly tense watch. “Greta” was not heavily marketed most likely due to its low budget and lack of A-list talent to throw on the poster, but it delivers in a few key areas to make it worth a trip to the theater.
The most important aspect of any psychological thriller is creating a sense of dread and anticipation in the viewer. The plot of “Greta” is dependent on Huppert’s character Greta Hideg delivering a chillingly uncomfortable performance in the titular role and Moretz’s character Frances McCullen reacting in a believable way. Both actors deliver on this front, making portions of the film hard to watch (in the best intentional way).
A few moments in the film involve Greta creating an awkward public scene, invoking relatable real life comparisons that will leave viewers with an uncomfortable cringe worthy reaction and give the movie a sense of uneasiness. Frances reacts convincingly throughout the film to Greta’s torments, albeit she does act a bit naïve, but her character’s personality does warrant her real world reactions and decisions throughout the film. While Moretz is solid throughout “Greta,” the real star of the film is Huppert.
Huppert’s performance as Greta is bone chilling. She begins her character arc as a sweet middle aged French woman and slowly descends into madness in a completely engrossing way. The emotion you read on her face throughout the film show in her eyes just how mad she really is, giving the sense of anticipation for what she is going to do next. The crazier she gets the more entertaining the film becomes.
However, “Greta,” is not without its faults. If you are planning on seeing this movie, don’t watch the trailer beforehand. This movie’s trailer falls victim to the common trailer problem of showing too much. Watching this trailer will show you many of the important twists and plot points in the movie, relieving much of the tension and mystery in the movie. While marketing materials shouldn’t take away from the experience of any movie, they did for “Greta.”
If you have seen any abduction thrillers, you know exactly how this film will end. The plot follows a common structure to films such as “Misery,” but doesn’t quite reach the heights of similar films in the genre. But like a McDonald’s cheeseburger or a gas station doughnut, the generic familiar taste is still satisfying in the end.
“Greta,” is a fairly conventional psychological abduction thriller, but is elevated by its lead’s performances and a tight runtime of an hour-and-a-half. It is one of the most enjoyable movies at the 2019 box office and is worth a trip to the theater (or at least a watch on Netflix when it comes to home media).
My final rating for “Greta” is a 7.5/10.