Greta stalks unassuming girls in a predictable yet enjoyable thriller. If you see a luxurious green handbag left on the subway, with no one claiming it, what would you do? Director Jordan, who has been plugging away at films for over two decades now, raises this moral concept and produces a simple yet often spine-chilling story that utilises far too common tropes found in the thriller genre, ultimately making it formulaic. Not necessarily a bad move on his half, as sweet innocent Greta has plenty of tricks up her sleeve that will entice most audiences. A young girl named Frances finds a bag left behind on a subway, searches through it to find an address, and delivers it back to the owner who casually invites her in. Rapidly a friendship blossoms which soon turns into a poisonous cloud of stalking.
Exploring themes of loneliness and mental depression, Wright's screenplay frequently reflects on the emotions that are conjured up from loss or family breakdowns. Initial dialogue exchanges between Frances and Greta were surprisingly heartwarming, building character foundations which soon turn into vindictive motives. Jordan presents the first half as a stalker psychosis. Greta consistently glaring at Frances across the street, just wanting to talk. These moments, despite coming across as typical, felt restrained and realistic enough to create chills. As the story progresses, certain characters actions and plot details progressively increase in stupidity and absurdity. That's when the second half kicks in.
No spoilers here, but let's just say it's no longer focused on the stalking. This is when the restraints are unlocked and generic mainstream thriller vibes are flooding the film's pores. Fortunately, it doesn't deter from the overall enjoyment to be had. Huppert gives a ridiculously excellent, if outrageous, performance as the titular character. Moretz playing the typecast victim role, not so much. Monroe however was damn good. She needs more roles. These characters may lose intent development during the second half, clearly the weakest aspect of this thriller, but the strong start and A-list cast elevate this typical B-movie to enjoyable heights. Just wish certain plot points didn't go all guns blazing (literally...)!