Greta

Greta

2019, R, 98 min. Directed by Neil Jordan. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea, Zawe Ashton.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 1, 2019

Go big or go home. Those must have been the words foremost in the mind of Neil Jordan, the director and co-writer (with Ray Wright) of Greta, during the making of this film. It is the story of Frances McCullen (Moretz), a young, bereaved innocent in New York City, and Greta Hideg (Huppert), the psycho stalker who insinuates herself into and then dominates Frances’ life. Subtlety and nuance have no place in Greta. Instead, the film wears its bloody heart on its sleeve. There are no subtexts, cautionary lessons, or moral conundrums to decipher – no food for thought underpinning the film’s outrageous acts. Like a B horror movie in which we know the group shouldn’t drive out to the remote cabin in the woods or open the door to the basement, we have strong premonitions (based on decades of experience as viewers) of what horror will befall the protagonists should they disavow the genre’s rules.

Despite the buildup of these horror expectations, there is no predicting how deliciously enjoyable it is to witness the macabre dance performed by Moretz and Huppert, two of the best actresses working in today’s movies. They play their game of cat and mouse with claws out; by the end of the berserko film, their characters are practically swinging from the rafters. Everyone appears to be having a grand time in Greta, and it would be crass for us as viewers to not respond similarly.

Frances is a recent graduate sharing a loft in Manhattan with her friend Erica Penn (Monroe). Frances waits tables at an upscale restaurant and is still mourning the death of her recently deceased mother. She’s smart but dumb in the way that characters in horror movies can be counted on to do the dopiest things. Before you know it, she’s ensnared in Huppert’s sad, lonely widow mystique as Greta. But as soon as Frances wises up to the situation (in a spectacular reveal) and tries to cut Greta from her life, the older woman turns into an obsessive menace who seems a tad more crazy than diabolical.

Neil Jordan has a liking for horror films as can be seen in such movies of his as The Company of Wolves, Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and In Dreams. However, more than paranormal creepy-crawlies, Jordan returns again and again to naturalistic stories with monstrous characters (i.e., Mona Lisa, The Crying Game, The Butcher Boy). His aim for Greta seems to be a stylish but pulpy story. Horror devotees might wish for more blood and less predictability in Jordan’s latest, but anyone who thrills to horror that seeps forth in a more psychological than physical vein should slice into Greta.

Showtimes

Thu., March 21

11:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 10:40am, 1:20, 6:30

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:05am, 2:30, 5:05, 7:55, 10:40

Fri., March 22

digital 10:15am, 12:45

Sat., March 23

digital 5:00, 10:10

Sun., March 24

digital 5:00, 10:10

Mon., March 25

digital 5:00, 10:10

Tue., March 26

digital 5:00, 10:10

Wed., March 27

digital 5:00, 10:10

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 7:20, 9:45

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 7:00, 10:40

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:20, 7:25

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Thu., March 21

12:15, 2:50, 5:35, 8:10, 10:45

Fri., March 22

12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 10:35

Sat., March 23

12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 10:35

Sun., March 24

8:10, 10:35

Mon., March 25

12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 8:00, 10:40

Tue., March 26

12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 8:00, 10:40

Wed., March 27

8:00, 10:40

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READ MORE
More Neil Jordan Films
The Brave One
Jodie Foster might be good at playing a master of vengeance, but The Brave One turns out to be little more than an upscale B-movie about getting even.

Steve Davis, Sept. 14, 2007

Breakfast on Pluto
In this latest from Neil Jordan, Cillian Murphy plays the swinging transvestite Patrick "Kitten" Braden, who wanders through and into the pop-and-politics culture of Seventies England.

Marc Savlov, Jan. 6, 2006

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
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March 22, 2019

The Wedding Guest
A simmering thriller of international abduction and pursuit

March 22, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Greta, Neil Jordan, Chloë Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea, Zawe Ashton

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