Look people, I love a good thriller as much as the next guy but it gets to a point where if your protagonist is so stupid, I’m going to start rooting for the villain. I guess the pitch to this film was; what could be scarier than a deranged ex-boyfriend stalking you around the streets? Your mother. That is pretty much the plot to Greta, a film that was billed as a psychological thriller and is anything but. There are worse ways to spend an evening but there are damn sure better.
Greta is the tale of two young women living in New York City (which always seems to be Manhattan because film studios wouldn’t be caught dead in the Bronx). Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a young and extremely naive woman who is struggling with the one year anniversary of her mother’s death. One day she finds a small bag that belongs to an older French woman named Greta (Isabelle Huppert) who she befriends. Frances uses Greta to fill the void her mother left but quickly realizes that Greta is not mentally stable. So much so, she calls 80 times a day and follows her everywhere she goes. It doesn’t take long for things to take a turn for the worse as Frances is now dealing with a dangerous woman with a dark past and Batman like speed.
This film may sound good on paper but it’s one of the dullest movies of the last calendar year. We are greeted with a horribly paced and uninteresting mess for much of the first act and before you have settled into the suck, they fire their shot too early with the plot. Once we discover that Greta is crazy, the film tries to stretch out about 70 minutes of her stalking Frances to the point that in any realistic situation, Greta would have gotten the hell beaten out of her. If you are looking for a strong female lead then you made a mistake because Frances is the biggest coward walking God’s green earth. I mean, Chloë Grace Moretz isn’t a strong actress anyway but writers don’t do her character any favors. If this woman had anything that resembled a backbone, this film would have been a filler episode of Special Victims Unit. What makes matters worse is that while you will be yelling at the screen like a bad horror movie, this film isn’t even scary enough to get that right. Isabelle Huppert is crazy but she is about as physically intimidating as a Teletubby for anyone who can bench 35 pounds.
Greta is a film full of cartoonish dialogue, stupid characters, and weaker acting. The only shame is that it isn’t quite bad enough to be good.