A Slightly Demented yet Entertaining Tale: Greta Review

Horror thrillers are a dying breed in cinemas, with many of them going straight to Netflix or Hulu.

Greta has come to show us there is still room and a market for seeing these kind of genre films on the big screen.

The story is simple, young woman new to New York City returns purse to mysterious older woman.  At first I wasn’t sold on the story but when it became clear how hard the filmmakers were working to sell this story.

The less you know about the plot the better, because the trailers and even the posters could potentially spoil or set you up for a far different experience that the movie doesn’t offer.

Thankfully, the film offers beautiful cinematography from Seamus McGarvey and two wonderful lead performances.

Neil Jordan’s richly textured visuals give the film a far classier (and watchable) quality.

There were times I had to look to my friend and compliment how lush some of the shots looked.  I love when I’m in a theater and the visuals feel tailor made for the big screen, instead of for your laptop.

Leading this lushly shot take is Chloë Grace Moretz, who is excellent and becoming one of the best working actresses today.

Switching from wide eyed optimism to terrified victim is no easy task and Grace Moretz makes it look easy. Almost too easy.

Don’t be surprised when she’s nominated for an Oscar in a few years.

Isabelle Huppert is not only chewing the scenery as Greta, she’s swallowing it whole and spitting it out like used gum.

The early scenes with her and Grace Moretzp highlight how wonderful the actors are and how warm their natural chemistry is.  It was a delight to watch until the plot finally kicks in and subverts the warmness the audience felt during the first thirty minutes.

Although it was fun to watch the actors working with the twists and turns, I couldn’t help but feel they were in need of a far more worthy script.

I understand they are trying to turn a campy genre script into high art, but the high production quality and wonderful lead performances only brought out how underwritten and poor the dialogue was.

It was so frustrating and was making all the hard work done behind the scenes and in front of the camera look bad.

I know Huppert is a masterclass of acting but not even she could pull off the line, “You liar! You lie!”

It reminded me of The Room a couple times and not in a good way.

But there are moments of delectable camp and mayhem that had the theater going ballistic.  There was even a time I had to cover my eyes because of the demented sense of humor that showed how game Huppert was.

During the third act I was reminded of Widows, another genre film that used A-List talent to elevate a ludicrous plot.

Greta was missing that tonally aware script to bring it to sleazy thriller greatness.

Images via Focus Features

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