Huppert and Mortez thriller starts off fine and ends up predictable
What you can expect in “Greta” are the fine performances from Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz. They’re both fine actresses who manage to adapt to any dramatic situation, just as long as they’re guided by the right filmmaker, who happens to be Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game,” “Interview with the Vampire”) in this case.
But what you can’t expect in “Greta” are any surprising twists or provocative narration. It starts off decent, and then interesting, but finishes off quite predictable and annoying. It wants to be “Misery,” but fails to deliver in any special way.
Moretz stars as Frances McCullen a Boston girl, who lives in TriBeCa, New York with her roommate Erica (Maika Monroe), and works as a waitress at a fancy restaurant. After her shift, she finds a purse on a subway, and finds the I.D. belonging to Greta Hideg (Huppert). She arrives at her place, and Greta is more than pleased. Much to Erica’s warnings, Frances becomes friends with her, giving her a saying her friends tell her: “I’m like chewing gum. I tend to stick around.”
Unfortunately, she starts to listen to her warnings, as she finds all the purses Greta allegedly lost. So, she calls off their “friendship,” and Greta begins stalking her, up to the point of her drugging and abducting her.
The movie also has some minor issues that aren’t fully examined. But the main one is Frances has lost her mother, and has becomes estranged with her busy father (Colm Feore). He becomes part of her horror story, but I didn’t get the full details on their issues. Either I didn’t really understand or the movie doesn’t really care about them.
Moretz has fears and emotions, while Huppert tries to play the subtle and angry psycho, and Monroe keeps things in check. These are nice performances, but they end up in a series of formulaic and predictable cliches.
There were times when I was at the edge of my seat, and times when I wanted more common sense. The best take place when Greta stalks Erica at her bar and follows her home while taking pictures and sending them to Frances’ phone. The way she warns her to get out is riveting. But the worst take place during the final act, when it deals with scenes of claustrophobia and lack of common sense.
I came close to nearly recommending “Greta” in a sense that it wanted to be a provocative thriller ranking with the best, but I had to go against it, when I saw the obvious choices the movie wanted to make.