Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia for the chance to see Greta before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
Greta is a B-movie psycho-horror that treads an uncomfortable line between taking itself seriously and pure schlock.
Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a Boston girl making her way in New York as a waitress, who finds a bag on the subway belonging to lonely widow Greta (Isabelle Huppert). Greta, as it turns out, is a deranged stalker with a need to mother her prey and poor Frances is put through the wringer in a spiral of escalating insanity.
Greta is competently shot by esteemed director Neil Jordan, with sumptuous autumnal New York imagery, but the story is unable to generate any tension and its attempts at drama caused riotous laughter at our screening. Only Huppert seems to realise what sort of movie she’s in and chews the scenery like a bulldog eating porridge. Her madness is barely contained in any scene, and she’s a hoot to watch. There are Mommie Dearest levels of lunacy in this film.
Moretz, on the other hand, is her usual one-dimensional self on screen, and spends most of the film with a furrowed brow and pout that belong in a comedy improv skit about faking grief. Moretz, so impressive as a child actor in Kick Ass, is now an adult actor with the range and technique of a child actor. She’s become a weird, hammy hybrid of Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone. Her lines are delivered with such obviousness that she seems to be presenting them as practice readings for other actors. Maybe there’s a place for her in comedy, but definitely not in anything serious.
The film is riddled with stupid protagonist syndrome and implausible choices, with far too many moments that will have you cursing the characters’ idiocy. There’s some entertainment to be had here when the film goes nuts, embraces its campiness and doles out the violence, madness and cruelty, but it utterly fails to generate any tension or fear and so cannot be recommended except to be seen with the right sort of jeering audience. This has the feel of a movie that might be embraced by a younger audience; the sort of thing that gets sneakily shown at young teen slumber parties but if that doesn’t describe you, you may want to avoid it.
Greta ? More like reGreta