Blu-ray Review: Greta

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan | CAST: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea
RELEASE DATE: May 28, 2019 | PRICE: DVD $15.40, Blu-ray $20.65
BONUSES: featurette, deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 109 min. | Drama thriller | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video | Overall

One of the world’s most daring actresses goes for the paycheck (and, perhaps, greater exposure to American audiences) in the uneven psychological thriller Greta from once-daring Irish director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Byzantium).

The actress is Isabelle Huppert (Merci Pour le Chocolat), recently Oscar-nominated for a fearless performance in the foreign drama Elle, who plays a mysterious French widow living a lonely life in a beautiful Brooklyn home. After restaurant worker Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz, Suspiria) returns a misplaced handbag to Greta, the two strike up a friendship. At first, Greta appears to be adapting a role of surrogate to Frances, who recently lost her mother. But it’s not before long that the relationship takes some odd turns and Greta appears to be a stalker who continually threatens her new gal pal. Warning Greta along the way, meanwhile, is her roommate (Maika Monroe, It Follows), who seems well aware of the dangerous potential of the new woman in her friend’s life.

The film has style thanks to Jordan’s moody helming and some creepy sequences, but the script’s tinkering with logic and delving into potentially supernatural events help muzzle its impact. The cat-and-mouse aspects are fine for a while, but eventually both the pursued and pursuer hit the wall when plotting turns routine and familiarities with the likes of Single White Female, Notes on a Scandal and other films abound.

Despite a fairly wide release, Greta stalled at $10.5 million in theaters, failing to bridge the gap between Huppert’s arthouse fans and American mainstream thriller audiences. The elements are intact, however, for the film to find a sold audience in its ancillary afterlife.

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.