By ARIA SALESSI
Everyone needs a friend.
Greta is a psychological thriller directed by Neil Jordan, with Chloe Grace Moretz as Frances and Isabelle Huppert as Greta. The film was released on March 1, 2019. Greta has a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes. In a review with Entertainment Weekly, Leah Greenblatt said, “Greta turns out to be the movie’s saving grace… a presence so fantastically bonkers – and so aware of the story’s mounting midnight-movie kitsch – that it hardly matters if you’ve seen it all done before, and better.”
The film follows a young woman named Frances who finds a purse on a subway with the owner’s address on it. She quickly returns it to a woman named Greta. The two soon become close friends and do everything together, from making dinner with each other to listening to classical music. One day Frances uncovers a dark secret of Greta, and she tries in vain to end their friendship. Unfortunately, Greta has other deranged plans up her sleeve to keep her friend in touch.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a psychological thriller that has actually caused me to feel disturbed and anxious without trying to scare its audience, unlike a generic horror film that constantly relies on jump scares for shock factor. I appreciate films like these because they are definitely more carefully planned than the average horror movie because the director has to disturb the audience in a multitude of ways other than just using cheap jumpscares. Greta seamlessly achieved this task.
Throughout the film, Greta seemed like a very kind woman and I found it hard to dislike her for any reason. However, as the film progressed, this sweet and innocent-looking lady became someone much more creepy and terrifying. Greta’s smooth transformation from a sweet lady to a psychopath stalker was one of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much. After Frances confronts Greta about her dark secret, she goes from following Frances around, to taking pictures of her friend, and finally drugging and kidnapping her. Her transformation truly made me realize that people may not be who they seem, and anyone can be putting up a false facade.
Another enjoyable part of the film was how uncomfortable it made me feel. There were many disturbing scenes throughout the film that left me in shock. One of them was when Greta was looking at Frances through the window of the restaurant she was working at. What makes this even more disturbing was that the scene switches from daytime to nighttime, revealing Greta has been standing there for hours. This sent chills down my spine as it shows how attached Greta was to Frances. Additionally, the film managed to be surprisingly gory at times, which made it even more disturbing. One scene involved Frances rolling dough for cookies with Greta after she had been kidnapped and drugged. As Greta put her finger under a cookie cutter, Frances smashes the top of it with her dough roller, severing her finger, and then proceeds to hitting Greta in the head with it. This scene made me cringe with disgust, but also left me satisfied knowing that Frances was capable of defending herself.
The last aspect of the film I enjoyed was the acting. Moretz and Huppert played their roles perfectly. Moretz flawlessly played her part as a scared and paranoid woman and Huppert’s psycho stalker role seemed almost too real to be a film. She managed to be so creepy throughout the film, that anytime I see Huppert in a film again, I’m probably not going to be able to see her the same way again.
With its amazing lead actresses and unique plot, Greta is an outstanding psychological thriller that will cause enormous discomfort for its audiences by just being downright disturbing.