Writer: Ray Wright, Neil Jordan (Screenplay)
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Jane Perry, Colm Feore, Zawa Ashton, Thaddeus Daniels, Stephen Rea
Plot: A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.
Tagline – She’s been waiting for you.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Never Lights Up
Story: Greta starts when a kind New York resident Frances McCullen (Moretz) who finds a handbag on the subway home, and being a nice person she returns it to a nice lonely French woman Greta (Huppert), who does start to offer her friendship, filling the void left after her own mother’s death.
As the two do become friends, Frances learns the terrible truth about Greta, that she has become over obsessive and will not leave her alone, leading to stalker behaviour which doesn’t get close to home for Frances.
Thoughts on Greta
Characters – Frances is a kind young woman living in New York city, trying to get started in life, she does a good deed, which sees her make a new friend in Greta, only to find herself being stalked by her, wanting to be a replacement mother in her life, she does everything she can to avoid the contact, seeing her life put on hold because of her new stalker. It is also clear that she is struggling with the loss of her mother, which has damaged her relationship with her father. Greta is the widowed lonely French woman who has been leaving her bag on public transport to get unsuspecting victims to come into her life, she does have problems, which haven’t been treated, which leads her to make the aggressive behaviour. Erica is the roommate and best friend of Frances, she does think she need to move away from Greta and will do anything to help her friend. Chris is the father of Frances who has started to move on with his life after the death of his wife.
Performances – Isabelle Huppert in the leading role does have a menacing presence about her, only she doesn’t get to let everything out, the way it feels like the character is ready to. Chloe Grace Moretz is strong as a young woman just trying to hold her life together, while Maika Monroe gets the most laughs at times in the film.
Story – The story here follows a young lady that helps return a bag, only to see her life turned upside down by the owner who has been searching for her latest victim. This story does focus on a good deed leading to something terrible happening, highlighting how the law will favour a stalker over the victim and how people can just vanish in New York City overnight. Sadly, the pace of the film does leave little to the imagination as we seem to just jump between levels of threat, showing only friendly to never leaving the side, to the final act. This just seems to put moments together, leaving plenty of plot holes in how everything unfolds.
Mystery – The mystery side of this film comes from how far and why Greta is acting her way, it does get slowly revealed, only it just doesn’t get into a deeper idea.
Settings – The film is set in New York which does show us how somebody could go missing in such an open city, with little people noticing anything that is going on.
Scene of the Movie – The next victim.
Final Thoughts – This is a simple mystery thriller which brings the stalker idea to the big city over the remote locations we know, only falling short in how everything unfolds.
Overall: Simple Mystery.