There appears a slew of stalker films and TV shows at the moment. In case you’ve missed it, Dirty John and You are showing over on Netflix. Isabelle Huppert is next to take on the role of a troubled mind.
While travelling home on the subway, Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) picks up a left-behind handbag – which she decides to deliver herself – against her flatmate’s, Erica (Maika Monroe) advice. She arrives at the doorstep of Greta (Isabelle Huppert), a seemingly sweet Parisienne who invites a hesitant Frances in for coffee as a thank you. They strike up an immediate rapport; Greta sharing her love of piano and perceptively honing in on Frances’ grief on losing her mother.
Returning to Greta’s some time after for dinner, Frances stumbles across a clue to suspect that their meeting was not unintended. She takes her leave shortly after and attempts to put some distance between them, ignoring phone calls and texts.
Greta grows unhappy with receiving the cold shoulder – tens of voice messages to Frances go unreturned. When she can’t get her on the phone, Greta appears outside the restaurant where Frances works – watching for hours. Greta’s reappearances grow more menacing and boisterous. No one is immune as her attentions turn from Frances to Erica and back again. Suddenly, everything is in focus – a quiet street or laneway, recently watered plants when no one’s at home. Frances fears her mind is playing tricks on her – will she slip up and get caught in Greta’s net?
Huppert is believable in the role who mistakes Frances’ attention for the daughter she lost. While the cause of her daughter’s death is explained, one can only wonder if Greta played some part. Some of her actions come across as comical – there were guffaws from the audience throughout – but the closing of the film suggests the depths of her illness are yet to be fully tapped. A sequel perhaps?
Greta opens nationally tomorrow.
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Produced by: Sidney Kimmel, John Penotti, James Flynn, Lawrence Bender, Karen Richards
Screenplay by: Neil Jordan, Ray Wright
Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea