1987’s Fatal Attraction started a wave of movies about people harassed by relentless stalkers (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Pacific Heights, Single White Female, among others). Director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) returns to that well with his uninspired thriller, Greta.
Chloe Moretz plays a young woman in New York City still reeling from the death of her mother. One day on the subway, she sees a purse someone has left behind. After going through it, she returns it to its owner, Greta (Isabelle Huppert). They begin a friendship, but it quickly turns sour when Moretz realizes this is a ruse Greta has deployed before.
One of the problems with Greta is that the realization that Greta is completely insane occurs about 25 minutes into the film. There should have been a slow build of tension as Greta’s behaviors become gradually more clingy, strange, and sinister. But she is revealed to be a psychotic loon before 30 minutes have passed. As a result, the rest of the movie ends up feeling repetitious. There are also scenes where characters, including Moretz, behave as stupidly as any slasher movie victim.
Jordan has talent as a director, and he is able to occasionally orchestrate tension here. There is a memorable scene about midway through the film where Greta stalks Moretz’s best friend (Maika Monroe) as she leaves a party. Speaking of Monroe’s character, she is given a little more depth than similar characters are usually given in other films of this ilk.
But for the most part, Greta feels like A-level talent stuck in C-grade material.