Considering the talent involved, this movie is a stunningly amateurish; too many "give me a break" moments. It takes place in a bizarro universe where restraining orders are unavailable and the fragile old lady has ninja skills (she surreptitiously takes close-up photos, breaks into an apartment, carries a body down the stairs, etc.) And when a detective arrives on the scene; well, if anyone's seen "Psycho," let's just say there are no surprises.
Then there's the scene out of a Geico commercial. ("If you're in a horror movie, you make poor decisions. That's what you do.") So, the street-wise roommate is at a bar being stalked. Her response; she leaves the crowded bar by taking the back door that leads to a dark, deserted alley.
Give me a break.
A young woman finds a bag on the subway in New YOrk, returns the bag and is instantly drawn into a web of compulsive madness.
A PI is killed and nobody even looks for his car (it's outside the mad woman's house), a near death women is abandoned in a basement and another bag is randomly found on a train.
And all along a woman in her early 20s fails to overpower the nutter in her 60s.
After seeing this trailer, I just absolutely needed to know how this story ended. Frances, a fresh college graduate who‚(TM)s living in NYC, notices a handbag left on the 6 train on her commute one day and decides to do the right thing and return it to its owner. She treks to Brooklyn to the address on Greta‚(TM)s license, takes her up on her invitation to come in for some coffee and the two begin bonding. Their ~30 year gap is bizarre, sure, but Frances is still grieving the loss of her mother and Greta appears to be a lonely widow looking for a friend. Shortly into this friendship, Frances discovers a cabinet filled with identical bags that Greta must leave on subways all over NYC to lure good-hearted people into her home.
Each handbag had a girl‚(TM)s name and phone number on the back, including Frances‚(TM). For a woman who was pretending she didn‚(TM)t know a cell phone could take a photo, Greta‚(TM)s use of technology rapidly progresses, as she‚(TM)s soon using it to find out all these details about Frances‚(TM) life. Isabelle Huppert is absolutely chilling as the obsessed Greta, but there was something about Chloe Grace‚(TM)s Frances that we just couldn‚(TM)t get behind. We weren‚(TM)t sure if we were supposed to believe her character was that naive or if she was completely capable of escaping her eventual kidnapper. Either way, the movie is beyond forgiveness for this quote alone, ‚my friends say I‚(TM)m like chewing gum, I tend to stick around.‚? This is a rare sentence coming from us, so don‚(TM)t take this lightly; I think this would‚(TM)ve made a much better book than it did a movie.
OVERALL SCORE: 5/10 ‚SOME THINGS ARE MEANT TO STAY LOST‚?
There‚(TM)s nothing wrong with a good pulpy thriller, but as the language of cinema has advanced, it sometimes takes a new approach to pop. GRETA, the new film by Neil Jordan (THE CRYING GAME) and co-writer Ray Wright, brings a lot of fun to the table, a bonkers performance by French screen legend Isabelle Huppert which almost reaches Glenn Close in FATAL ATTRACTION heights, and some classically astute direction, but ultimately, it‚(TM)s fairly stale stuff.
The film stars Chlo√ę Grace Moretz as Frances, a gullible New Yorker (the only gullible New Yorker, mind you!) who one day finds a stylish purse left on the subway. Her stupidly funny roomie (are there any other kind in these films?) Erica (IT FOLLOWS‚(TM) Maika Monroe) suggests they keep the money in the handbag and go get colonics‚¶which if you‚(TM)ve made your rent in New York is a reasonable next option. Frances, however, being from Ohio, returns the purse to its rightful owner, cash and all. Thanks a lot, filmmakers! I‚(TM)m from Ohio too, and let me tell you a thing or two. I‚(TM)d return the purse at a neutral spot, but I‚(TM)m taking those bills to my nearest day spa stat!
The owner turns out to be a sweet little French lady named Greta (Huppert), who invites Frances in for tea. They develop a friendship, with Frances playing right into Greta‚(TM)s maternal affections. One day, however, Frances discovers something about Greta which changes the dynamic completely. To say anymore about the story would spoil everything, but suffice it to say, it turns into an insane psychological thriller complete with some jump scares and a surprisingly gory and memorable scene‚¶culminating with a shot (literally) you won‚(TM)t soon forget.
Moretz, a very talented actor, gets saddled with the drippy role and rarely behaves like a rational human being. She actually goes into the basement in one sequence. If you‚(TM)ve ever seen a movie before, you know better. Despite Monroe‚(TM)s winning appearance here, the rest of the cast adds nothing. Old Jordan regular, Stephen Rea, has a totally nothing part as a detective, and Colm Feore contributes even less as Frances‚(TM) father. The story, while consistently fun, simply checks off all of the thriller boxes until it comes to its ho-hum conclusion‚¶complete with sequel setup. It all plays like a ripoff of Brian De Palma ripping off Hitchcock, except without split screens and the delicious color palette. It‚(TM)s drab looking, intentionally so mind you, leaving Huppert to walk away with the film.
Huppert, no stranger to edgy roles (just watch THE PIANO TEACHER for God‚(TM)s sakes!), takes a little detail like chewing gum or just staring and turns it into a master class. Her physicality as she spins and hops around her house felt inspired, and her ability to walk the line between sympathetic and pathological earns her a rightful place in the pantheon of movie monsters. It‚(TM)s as if Close‚(TM)s Alex Forrest invaded a French body and spouted ‚I won‚(TM)t be ignored" for 98 minutes straight. Huppert handles the violent moments with a chilling force, giving us campy memories and a great idea for this year‚(TM)s Halloween costume. Sadly, she‚(TM)s not in a movie which will live in our hearts and minds forever, but perhaps her performance will. It reminded me of 1987‚(TM)s THE STEPFATHER, a so-so film with an indelible lead performance. Call GRETA a fun little story for the moment, but let‚(TM)s get to the great movie months already!
The film did an amazing job at portraying the fear that Frances felt. I felt nervous the whole way through. Just could of used without the dream gotchas and the dumb private investigator.
A few things:
Does this film hate New York, because it made me hate NYC.
Why PTS dogs after 5 days, that is really short? Is that a real thing for NYC animal shelters?
That Dad is bad at picking investigators.
New York cops seem terrible at their jobs.
ALSO POOR DOGGIE!!! Why?!