Now this is the psychological thriller that I am talking about. “Greta” is a film that is not only disturbing by its subject matter, but because the trailer misleads its viewers to the type of evil psychopath that Isabelle Huppert is. Chloe Grace Moretz is the innocent, young friend that is just concerned about her safety, but that does not matter to Huppert. The director, Neil Jordan (who is a decent director) has the setting to be mellow, but slowly increase with tension, psychological fears, and an increasing amount of unanswered disturbing questions that Moretz does not know the answer to. In Huppert’s recent film “Elle” (2016), she plays someone that got assaulted but is fearless to find the answer. In “Greta” Huppert does the assaulting, but Moretz is nowhere near fearless.
The film starts with Frances McCullen (Moretz), a student working as a waitress in New York with a hard past. She takes the subways consistently in the cities of New York and comes across a purse assuming that is missing. She looks through the purse and finds an ID saying Greta Hideg (Huppert). Frances returns the purse to Greta and they start to hang out occasionally. For Frances she feels she has found a positive role model in her life. That is until one day she comes across a cabinet full of multiple purses that are the same that she found on the train. This causes Frances to want to cut all communications with Greta and not be associated with her. That incident is just a nightmare beginning for Frances. Greta begins to send her multiple emails, phone calls, and consistently stalks her at any place she knows she is associated with. Frances hopes that this will blow over, but it continues to worsen day by day. This leads Frances to have to put matters into her own hands and consider fighting back if she must.
There is a moment in “Greta” where Frances assumes that Greta is not as dangerous. She is dangerous. Frances’s roommate and best friend Erica Penn (played by Maika Monroe) is at a club and Greta sends Frances pictures of Erica saying she is following her. In this thriller, Greta involves what is important to Frances to try and play mind games to get her to be friends with her. With that, the film is not that predictable. That makes the film better than some viewers may think. Many thrillers have a predictable setup where they have the main character be the only focus for the antagonist. In “Greta” the antagonist’s focus is Frances and the people that are important in her life. That will leave viewers to be curious whose life is going to be more on the line.
As I watched this movie, my mind felt haunted, but I could not look away. Huppert’s evil persona had my full attention. She has scary dialogue, facial expressions, and an attitude that Moretz feels she cannot overcome. The film is a cat and mouse game between a middle-aged woman and a young girl in her early college days. I was wondering throughout the movie if Moretz is going to escape or not. If that is an answer one wants to find out, that is an answer to wait until the movie is seen. I will say though, this is a big screen experience for a movie. Most psychological thrillers are not that good these days, but “Greta” I felt was excellent work. I will say three solid stars.