“I don’t want asparagus water shot up my butt under any circumstances” – a line in this film written by the Oscar Winning writer and director of The Crying Game. That’s really the best way to describe Greta. You can either hate how awful it is, or laugh about how at just how bad it can be. Greta, the story of a young women’s fight against a widowed stalker is certainly an interesting idea for a movie, especially with some surprisingly high quality actors.
Isabelle Huppert of Elle, Chloë Grace Moretz of Let Me In, Stephen Rea of The Crying Game, and the massively underrated Colm Feore of Chicago, all names I saw flash by during the opening sequence, so what went so wrong to turn this from a promising idea to a laughably bad thriller? Let’s get into that.
So first I really want to talk about the one thing I like that isn’t in a “so bad it’s good way” and that’s the two lead performances from Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert. Moretz gives a certainly above average performance as Frankie McCullen, diagnosed with the Disney dead parent disease. The powerhouse however is Huppert in the title role. Huppert is magnificently over the top and it is wonderful to watch her tow the line of insanity and… more insanity. The rest of the cast isn’t awful, but they certainly aren’t great, not to call anyone out. (Maika Monroe) Moretz and Huppert are definitely the two best things about the film though.
So that’s what I liked that was good, let’s talk about what I liked that was so, so not good, starting with the script. If you’ll go back to the “I don’t want asparagus water shot up my butt under any circumstances” line, that is said within the first five or ten minutes of the film, setting the tone for the ridiculousness that is about to go down. Other lines which are either extremely stupid or just pure clunky exposition/foreshadowing include “No, you’re the child, and you need a mother to hold you” and “I’m so sorry, my neighbors are remodeling”. Greta has some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a long time and it is delightful, and I would recommend it on that reason alone to see it.
Next on The Room level so bad it’s good aspects, it’s got to be the story. I wouldn’t dream of spoiling the absolutely ludacris twists and turns that the movie takes throughout the film, including dream sequences, one super graphic scene in the PG-13 film that gives it an R rating, the weirdest subplot involving accents, and set-up for a sequel that we definitely won’t get, but after the beautiful disaster that this film is, I really hope we get Greta 2: Red, White, and Blonde. The story is so laughably all over the place that towards the end with the twists which I will not spoil. It truly is something to behold and I think everyone needs to see it.
Now, I think it’s time for me to bring up something that was bad that I really didn’t like in either a serious or ironic fashion, and that being just how aggressive the scoring of the film is. While it does lend itself to the stupidity spectacle, the overwhelming score takes so much away from what could be a legitimately thrilling scene.
The heavy handedness of it all is evident from the very first meeting between Frances and Greta, where the moment something vaguely sinister seems to be amok, the music sounds like the composer had a heart attack and died pushing the volume controls up. This is a problem which continues throughout the entire film, and it certainly detracts from the overall experience if you’re trying to enjoy it as a good film, instead of a pile of trash.
That wraps up my thoughts on Greta, and boy, what an adventure that was. I laughed. I laughed more. I didn’t laugh when it actually tried to be funny, but when it was serious I was rolling in the aisles. Overall, I definitely would recommend this movie, as you definitely wouldn’t reGret-a it. However, this is still a really, really bad movie. Still not my worst of the year so far, but definitely in my bottom 5. Overall, I’ll say see it, but don’t go in expecting Godfather. Also, see it in theatres, so we can get a series of these, or I will make Greta 2: Electric Boogaloo myself.