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Greta. No need to be in a hurry to see her. | MOVIE REVIEW

Isabelle Huppert starring as Greta looking over Frances played by Chloe Grace Moretz Photo courtesy of Focus Features Isabelle Huppert starring as Greta looking over Frances played by Chloe Grace Moretz

Someone leaves a handbag on a New York City subway. Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) retrieves it and returns it to the owner, Greta, (Isabelle Huppert). The two women quickly form a bond. When Frances learns that their encounter wasn’t the by chance event she thought, she distances herself from her new friend. But Greta isn’t the easy come, easy go, type of woman and becomes obsessed with maintaining a bond with Frances.

Greta contains all of the clichés of horror films. There’s the nice well-meaning victim, Frances and her sinister nemesis, Greta. In this film genre, villains are always capable of feats of great strength, always one step of head of others, and never seem to have anything else to do in their lives but to pursue their victim(s).

It’s also troubling when films have non-credible aspects. Frances is new to New York, gullible and naive to the dangers of big city life. But then she references being from Boston. Really? Boston is not exactly a small town. It would have been easy to have her hail from any of thousands of towns and villages.

As to the acting, to make the film work, Chloe Grace Moretz has to be a character who garners viewers’ sympathy. She does. Alternatively, Isabelle Huppert, in the title role, has to be evil. She is, in the most exquisite way. Together they create the necessary drama and suspense.

Greta gets a B+ in cast diversity. It’s a small cast; so there are a limited number of characters. However, there are many people of color in supporting roles and background scenes.

When films are set in New York City, I always subject them to a New York City Realism Test. In a Gwyneth Paltrow film, she rode the G train through Manhattan. Wrong. The G train only goes between Brooklyn and Queens.

In Greta, nothing stands as not authentically New York. The writers even explain how two young women like Frances and her roommate are able to afford the large, comfortable loft where they live; her roommate’s father bought it for her.

The verdict on Greta: It’s a Rent It. No need to see it now. If you have the opportunity to see later, through some other venue, do it. It’s not a must see now.

Greta is 98 minutes long and rated R.