Self-care marks the first step to saving other people, and there are many ways to better yourself. For instance, you can avoid ultra-processed foods, along with that 10% increased cancer risk. Or, maybe you can only watch movies that actually have a reason to exist, those that convey the situation of self-care to generate outer-concern, something that the latest horror-suspense, Greta, fails to achieve.
Nobody gullible enough to buy a ticket to this feature should do so, otherwise, they would have to fight drifting asleep before the predictable climax. The Z’s are bound to happen as the events leading up to the climax rely on one cheap way to suck thrills out after another, including an out-of-place scene when an elevator keeps going down, down, down, and closes in on the passenger. That trippy scene matches a comparable level of goofiness to when the main actress, Chloë Grace Moretz, throws her phone as she shouts, “goddammit,” as if a supporting actor from history’s worst movies. When clumped together, these pathetic moments force the suspense away.
It’s sad that our world now has to associate itself with these characters’ idiocy, because the protagonist, Frankie, does the opposite of what one carrying common sense would do. She does not deserve to be cheered on, or anyone else in the passive ensemble for that matter! That goes as well to Frankie’s stalker, Greta, who is stupidly overpowered without reason as to why, while her actress, Isabelle Huppert, doesn’t shy away from knowing her doomful career ahead.
Though the projection of our happiness generated by a piano is somewhat successful. That instrument sits in Greta’s lonely house as her only true company, not to mention the only sign of sanity as it sets a contrast apart from the millennials she seems to take obsessive delight in. The sound design around this music of eighty-eight keys works off your greatest fear as it’s set against the unhuman tick sounds of a tense metronome. In the few scenes that little tool tick-tick-ticks, the circumstances allow you to now forever associate that noise to a tell-tale heart.
These elements do at least address what our true fears are, even when zero confrontational advice comes out of it. Upon their first meeting, Greta leaves Frankie many calls, perhaps around eighty in a single day, all containing terms of endearment that when said the umpteenth time escalate your nerves: Chérie, Sweetheart, and Darling. Yet Greta’s actions turn quickly more ominous, including an outburst among restaurant patrons after spitting gum into Frankie’s hair.
The film gradually gets more and more discomforting as it goes along, which works well enough considering that the first act sprinkles around joyful doses of familiar imagery. Inside a cathedral, soft candle glows suggest the wisdom that Greta seeks from youth, considering that she barely even knows how to use an old Nokia phone—or so believed. Away from the stalking chaos, Frankie circles on a bike around her roommate, who does yoga in the center of their apartment. This circular imagery enables you to relax before they’re both put in harm’s way.
Unfortunately, all these intense emotional moments do nothing to progress your well-being beyond the mundaneness of life. Even the characters in this movie don’t seem motivated to ever change. Heck, it’s addressed quite frequently that Frankie lost her mom a year prior… so what? Why care? It doesn’t say! It’s hard to care about the antagonist as well, seeing how the writer/director Neil Jordan ignored giving Greta a chance for redemption, suggesting she falls short of displaying any good, making her much less realistic than a vampire.
There’s the argument that bad people must be seen as bad and punished for doing so in a story; but before you draw a black/white conclusion about whether or not someone deserves forgiveness, just think: in someone else’s mind, you are the villain of his/her story. Does it press an “evil” label on you too? Does it mean you deserve no redemption? In that same way, the best movie antagonists are human, with both good and bad traits about them. Would Hannibal Lecter still be regarded as one of the greatest on-screen baddies of all time if he wasn’t unusually polite? Don’t expect any characters controlled by this horrendous script to do anything besides push the plot forward. That goes to the roommate, and that goes to Isabelle Huppert’s awful accent that offends her own race.
In fact, this big crapload simply should never have been made, as it lacks any motivation, not for art, not for money, not for anything. Detestable trials will always come your way with the intent of helping you change for the better, but Greta instead prefers to hold back on challenging you.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Christensen, Jen. “Ultra-processed foods linked to increased cancer risk.” CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, 28 Feb 2018. Web. <https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/14/health/ultra-processed-foods-cancer-study/index.html>.
Greta. Focus Features. Web. <http://www.focusfeatures.com/greta>.
Means, Sean P. “Isabelle Huppert stars in Neil Jordan’s horror-thriller ‘Greta.’ (Photo by Jonathan Hession, courtesy Focus Features).” Digital image. THE MOVIE CRICKET. Squarespace, 28 Feb 2019. Web. <https://moviecricket.net/blog/2019/2/28/greta>.