Psychological thrillers lend themselves to fantasy and a hint of the ridiculous – but Greta takes that license and absolutely sprints with it.
The film, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert, conned me into thinking it would be a slick thriller thanks to its stellar cast and trailer – but its actually a camp B-movie that would do a lot better if it embraced the genre wholeheartedly.
Greta opens with timid waitress Frances (Moretz), who lives with apparently very rich bestie Erica (Maika Monroe), finding a green handbag on the subway and, being the polite country girl she is, decides to bring the bag back to its owner.
The owner being Greta Hideg (Huppert), a French woman living alone after her daughter moved to Paris and her husband died. Taking pity on Greta, Frances makes friends with her and begins to spend time at her home – that is, until she discovers numerous identical green handbags in a cupboard.
Now, I love campness. I like ridiculous plot twists and overacting, and I like horrors and thrillers that can make me laugh. But Greta doesnt lean into the campness entirely, and the two sides of the film become very jarring very quickly.
Huppert is great as the unhinged widow, and the moments where she stands outside Frances work for hours at a time are very entertaining. But the character of Frances gives Moretz nothing to work with, and I found myself barely rooting for her.
And then comes the ridiculousness. Theres a moment of gore that comes entirely out of the blue and looks like part of another film, while the is this real or is it a dream? moments seem out of place.
I found myself wishing the disconnect between serious thriller and over-the-top B-movie was closed and the whole film flung into campness, because Isabelle Hupperts take on Greta was a high point.
However, considering all the laughs in the screening I attended, perhaps Id have enjoyed it better if I handed myself over to the madness from the get-go.
With a bottle of wine and a takeaway, Greta might be a lot more fun. But when pitched as a thriller, its just a bit too confused.
Greta is out 19 April.