This weekend I had the great pleasure of watching, not just a movie, but a transcendental experience that rival’s anything Charlie Sheen experienced in his tiger blood phase. That experience was courtesy of the time-warping, brain-melting, horror flick, Greta.
Now you may be wondering, hey I saw the trailer for this it seemed like a relatively straight forward horror movie. If only my friends, if only. Oh it starts out like a basic horror film. Within the first five minutes we learn that our protagonist, Frances, lives in a 2000 sq ft Tribeca loft gifted to her friend Erica by her dad for graduating college. So you think, “All right I’m in. One-note characters getting killed in succession until our hero prevails? Let’s do this.” Then one by one little things start to happen that make you question your reality. (Mild spoilers ahead, but honestly you cannot spoil Greta. Greta is all around you, it is another dimension of time and space. Greta is life, life cannot be spoiled.
First, Frances, who again is a recent college grad so what 22 tops, is sitting their minding her business when her cellular phone rings! Not vibrates, rings! Now you see why I called it a cellular phone because that’s what they were called the last time it was socially acceptable to have a phone ringer on. Which is why I thought “oh shit is this a Highlander sequel? Did they Shyamalan this thing?” Cause if anyone under the age of 37 has a their phone ringer on, that person’s definitely an immortal time lord who’s lived countless lives. And I know you’re wondering that this is a horror movie and I bet the phone rings at a really inopportune time so that the killer might find out where she is. No! She gets like 6 phone calls in this movie and none of them are in that scenario. In fact, they don’t even commit to the ringer part. Sometimes she’s on the train and it rings and then she’s at home and the phone vibrates. What does it mean Greta?
Second, Frances is presented as this naive small town girl not wise to the evils of the big city. When she picks up Greta’s bait bag Erica scolds her that “this is New York, if you see a bag you run, it’s probably a bomb.” Frances responds world wearily that this New York deviant just doesn’t understand, “that’s not how we do things where I’m from.” So what is the po dunk, one-horse town of Frances’ meager upbringing. Just a small hamlet on the eastern seaboard called BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS! Boston! Massachusetts! Oh please Greta tell me what you’ve done to my world.
Third, this hilarious exchange between Frances and her manager at the swanky restaurant where Greta has just sat down to further stalk/harass our sweet naive protagonist: Manager: you have someone at table 7 Frances: (looking out) I can’t that’s my stalker Manager: (in the bitchiest voice possible) I don’t care she has a reservation! Even the bartender is like “yo that your stalker? Shit bitch you better get this chablis to her then.” What the hell have you done to reach this hell dimension you Insta-Highlander, Frances?!!?!!? I’m onto you. Is it possible Greta has created a better world? One where Bostonians get there comeuppance?
Fourth, and possibly most important, that cell phone ringer choice wasn’t even the most egregious phone related thing. Because in this movie, where two 22 year olds own and live in a Tribeca loft, they have a cot damn LAND LINE PHONE! Like Frances was thinking, “shit I wasn’t gonna live in this veritable mansion in Manhattan, but shit girl you didn’t tell me you got the Verizon Triple Play.” When it’s mentioned I thought for sure I’d been magically teleported to the land of everyone’s childhood home. Once I realized that I was in fact still experiencing this movie I became palpably excited. Surely this had be a major plot point; Checkhov’s landline if you will. In what crazy way would the story pivot on this ridiculous plot choice. Would the entire world’s cell network go down from an EMP attack and Frances is saved cause Erica sprung for the deluxe package? Would Greta try to take Frances only to be strangled by the phone line? Nope, nothing like that happens, nothing at all actually. They just use the phone a couple of times and never talk about it. Oh Greta I’ve change my mind please, please take me back to Earth.
Lastly, after all of this, after 90 plus minutes of beautiful torture to my senses. After 80 minutes of Frances, our sweet waif from the idyllic peaceful town of Boston, refusing to even try to fight a woman she has; 2 inches, 20 lbs and roughly 40 years on. After watching all laws and rules of cinema and life alike be tossed asunder. We finally watch this hypnotizing mess come to an anticlimactic end with Greta meeting her demise…or did she!!!?!?!?!?! That’s right, they set this up for a sequel! Greta 2: The Gretaening! It’s happening baby! Oh sweet Greta I never doubted you. Shuffle those feet on over here and inject that sweet sweet sedative in my veins.