A quick introduction for those of you who don't know her, Isabelle Huppert is basically the French Meryl Streep. It's a rare treat to see her in an American project, let alone a corny B-movie. From the man behind art house staples The Company of Wolves, Mona Lisa and The Crying Game, Greta follows a gentle young woman who befriends a lonely widow, who grows increasingly obsessed with her.
Greta is goofy. Neil Jordan burns a floppy disc compilation of cheesy 90's thrillers for his latest movie. Despite a few tense and well shot scenes, Greta's tone is laughably over the top - and quite out of character for Jordan. Frances McHullen, a young waitress living a quiet life in New York City finds an expensive handbag on the Subway. She rummages hopefully to find an address and returns it to the rightful owner - Greta. From here, Jordan emphasises Greta's instant fixation with Frances and her almost compulsive need for a daughter figure. Similarly, Frances is in a vulnerable place. Her mother recently passed away and is (perhaps) subconsciously looking for someone to fill that void in her life. Jordan establishes a cute dynamic between the characters that soon turns pretty cooky.
Chloe Grace Moretz continues to prove her inability to act. Frances is the sickly sweet, girl next door character who is drawn into a Greta's dark agenda - if you're unsure if she's in danger she'll soon let you know with a pathetic gasp or sudden hand over the mouth movement. Moretz overplays the majority of her lines with constant exhaustion in her voice. On the other hand Jordan uses Huppert in a far better way. Although she too overacts some of her dialogue Huppert is perfectly unpredictable as a sweet old lady who is capable of many nasty deeds. Looking past her evil vendetta against Frances, at the centre is a very mentally disturbed individual.
Behind the obvious there are some interesting elements of sound design - Frances' sudden realisation of Greta's game is cut short by the sudden pop of a wine cork, and the terrifying tick of a metronome. Nevertheless the narrative crumbles to pieces in the climax - there is even a subplot concerning Greta's daughter that is tossed aside for the sake of cheap genre thrills.
Greta is cheesier than a cellar or Roquefort. Huppert does her best as the stalker-gawker but is often fighting against Moretz's bland and underwhelming protagonist. Sadly we feel completely unsympathetic towards her character, as she takes this B-movie to a new level of toe-nail curl.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.