There is nothing particularly new or original about Greta as it follows the classic “stalker” movie trope we have seen many times before. Its saving grave is the fact that it is done very well, although this isn’t enough to elevate it above passable. It also has a very good cast, which considering how pedestrian the movie’s beats are, is quite surprising.
Isabella Huppert is the Greta of the title, a woman who uses a clever “lost bag” ruse to lure in potential new “friends” to fill a social void in her life. Huppert is very effective in the role, tame and pleasant when she needs to be, psychotic and unhinged when the movie calls for it too. Her transformation as the film progresses is a credit to the actress and some of the more physical aspects she has to demonstrate in the movie’s third act show how invested in the role she is.
Playing her latest victim is another solid actress in Chloe Grace Moretz. Again, Moretz is better than this film requires her to be and unfortunately for Moretz, the movie gives her little to work with. She plays a bafflingly helpless victim to Greta, making poor choices and walking into plot-hole shaped traps at each turn.
The movie is full of these plot-holes. You will watch, agitated and annoyed, as moments can be avoided, decisions are taken which don’t make sense and your suspension of disbelief is stretched beyond credible breaking point. Its particularly annoying too because it feels like with more care, this film could have been better. The bare bones are there for something quite enjoyable but it rushes its way through what could have been effective slow-build to get to the finale.
This could be because the finale is the most effective aspect of the whole film. Once revelations have occurred and the set-up for the final act is revealed, the movie lets itself go and the finale becomes a great, tense cat and mouse game. There are a few twists, although nothing too unexpected, but once you’ve come this far through the film, its nice to have this rewarded with an entertaining end to the story.
Overall, Greta is a standard stalker movie done as well as all the others. It doesn’t elevate itself despite having a cast which are on top form. Huppert plays Greta well, Moretz struggles with a sparse character and the story plays through all the usual beats. The tense, effective finale saves it somewhat though.
Rating – 3
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