Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 


A young woman befriends a lonely widow who is harbouring a dark and deadly agenda towards her.

Review by Louise Keller:
Franz Liszt's haunting Liebestraume (Dreams of Love) is used to good effect in this chilling potboiler in which Isabelle Huppert's deranged Greta terrorizes Chloe Grace Moretz's vulnerable young woman, Frances. Director Neil Jordan always leaves an impression with a diverse body of works including The Crying Game (1992), The Butcher Boy (1997), The End of the Affair (1999) and The Good Thief (2003). Here, Jordan (who co-wrote the screenplay with Ray Wright) tackles the subject matter of obsession and delivers a cracker of a psychological thriller that is both creepy and scary. Don't watch this film alone!

The film begins with a good deed, reminding us of the old adage 'No good deed shall go unpunished!' The good deed involves pretty Frances (Moretz) returning a handbag left on the New York subway to its owner - Greta (Huppert), a lonely widow who plays Liszt on the piano and welcomes company. When the relationship between Frances and Greta begins, it is innocuous. Frances' flatmate Erica (Maike Monroe) thinks there is something odd about it, but Frances, who is still grieving for the loss of her mother, welcomes the warmth and attention she is given.

Ominous music cues, long shadows and an oscillating metronome instill a sense of dread and fear and Jordan executes it well. There are incessant text messages, phone calls, flowers and the stalking begins. The scenes when Frances (who works as a hostess in a restaurant) sees Greta waiting in the dark street outside makes the hair on the back of our neck stand on end. When she appears in the restaurant, we feel exactly as Frances feels.

What is real and what is fantasy? Like Frances, we begin to question our sanity. Watch for Jordan film regular Stephen Rea - in a small but critical role as a private detective. By the time he appears on the scene, things have already reached a high crescendo. For Frances, her worst nightmares are coming true.

Huppert delivers a superb, unsettling performance that often steps just outside the realms of credibility. That is the fun of it. Moretz is perfect as the innocent, who is lured into Greta's deadly web. As for Jordan, he delights in the high camp nature of the plot and the delectable execution.

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(Ireland, US, 2018)

CAST: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maike Monroe,

PRODUCER: Lawrence Bender, James Flynn, Sidney Kimmel, John Penotti

DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan

SCRIPT: Ray Wright, Neil Jordan


EDITOR: Nick Emerson

MUSIC: Javier Navarrete


RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes



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