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Greta is a fresh take on stalker-thriller movies, and kicks off the 2019 “year of horror” just right.

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A small cast manages to fill the audience with terror, while still managing to tell a moving and interesting story.

Greta takes the sweetness of new friendships and twists it into a psychotic thriller after Greta, a lonely, “innocent”, widow, lures in Frances with her “lost purse” and tries to be her friend. After learning her true intentions, Frances does everything to get away from her but Greta’s sinister plan has already begun; and there is no end in sight.

This stalker film does it all right and in style with great actors and an entertaining story that had me hooked from start to finish. It took a unique approach to horror and suspense, starting with a caring well-developed relationship then suddenly breaking it apart; but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The stalker genre, which dates back to the 80’s, is nothing new, but this take was creative and the story was original. If the friendship between Greta and Frances wasn’t enough to hook you in, then for sure the twist from “family-friendly” to “hide or die” got you. It’s hard to remember when exactly the movie changed its tone. I loved watching Greta pry her way back into her life, and the intrusion she forced on Frances had me both intrigued and terrified.

Although the story was great, the pacing seemed slow which made some scenes boring and irrelevant. It started to pick up about half way through, when Greta started getting more forceful with Frances. Don’t get me wrong, the introduction of each character and setting up Greta/France’s relationship needed that time; but there were some scenes that felt unneeded and some characters who didn’t need as much spotlight. For instance, Frances’ dad had little to no impact on the story, yet he was involved quite a bit towards the end.

Many scenes in the movie had little to no dialogue, where it was just the actors and the music; and it only seemed to work effectively in the beginning. The intro sequence of Frances finding Greta’s purse worked perfectly with no dialogue or explanation, just the eerie soundtrack and Greta laying her bait.  

The main cast consisted of just under 20 people. With the main focus being on only three of the total actors (Frances, Greta, and Frances’ friend Erica), their acting had to be flawless for the story to mean something more than a joke. Luckily, Chloe Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, and Maika Monroe stuck out beautifully. I’m not saying that they were perfect, but their acting was better than what you get in a typical horror movie these days.

Each of their performances was spectacular on their own level, especially Huppert’s as Greta. Playing a psychotic old lady at that extreme of a level could not be easy, yet she handled it so simply. She said, “I could go crazy and hunt you down any second I want” on the outside, yet on the inside seemed to be stress free and easy  

The best friend chemistry between Moretz and Monroe was familiar, and their characters clearly cared for each other. I got a sense of “hey, I have a friend like that”, which is exactly what the director was aiming for.

According to IMDB, “The distribution rights for the film were bought at the Toronto International Film Festival by Focus Features for $6 million,” which means this film was originally entered into a film festival before it caught the eye of Focus Features, and they had to pay the original director of the short film $6 million to turn it into a cinematic reality. It was entered originally as Greta into the festival, and no name changes occurred (obviously).

The last scene set up an unlikely sequel; but had more fans guessing what would be next? It would be wise to leave this film as a standalone, and not drag it into another movie. Leave the ending up for us to decide.

But, overall, the acting, suspense, story and mystery of Greta will guarantee it a spot on my “favorite horror movies of 2019” list.

About the Writer
Matthew Silbernagel, Film Critic

Matthew Silbernagel is a junior. He enjoys going to movies, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. He hopes to accomplish writing movie reviews...

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Greta is a fresh take on stalker-thriller movies, and kicks off the 2019 “year of horror” just right.