Bonus Watching: Greta (2019)

Bonus Films: Greta (2018)

List Progress: 11/12 (+5)

Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve been traveling and spending time with family, and caught a couple movies over the last day.

Greta (2018) is a horror movie with a pretty interesting premise that I remembered from the trailers last year. Lured in with a missing purse, a naive young woman, Frances, gets pulled into the sway of Greta, a French widow living in New York. Frances initially becomes friends with Greta out of a longing for her recently-deceased mother, but is turned off when she recognizes Greta’s obsessive and stalking behavior. You rarely see thrillers with middle-aged female villains, especially not in an almost-entirely female main cast, so that’s interesting enough.

However, Greta artificially escalates the threat far too early in the plot, and plateaus from there. As soon as Greta shows the first hint of menace, long before she represents any physical threat, the violins in the soundtrack start screeching and Frances freaks out. This overreaction hamstrings the rest of the film, as there is nowhere really to go from there, and the third act turns to torture porn to fill the space. A 100 minute movie really has no excuse for dragging, but Greta certainly does.

That’s even before you get into the logistics of the plot. Thrillers don’t necessarily have to be watertight, but when the police are introduced into the story early, it becomes egregious that they are not brought in again once things escalate, for no real reason. Greta acts so erratically and so wildly, that it becomes preposterous that she’s gotten away with her actions for as long as the story says she has.

Would I Recommend It: No. I would like to see another story take a swing at the same premise, though.

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