(Directed by Neil Jordan) (2018)

This tedious, derivative piece of trash begins when nice, naive young Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz, using every tic and twitch she can summon, and that’s a lot) finds a chic handbag in a subway carriage. Oddly enough, no-one else is interested in it. Even more oddly, all of the lost luggage offices in the entire New York subway system must have been permanently closed, if this film is to make any kind of sense at all. But there we are. Back at home in their luxurious loft apartment, Frances and her flatmate Erica (Maika Monroe, a poor man’s Chloe Sevigny) argue about what to do with said handbag and they continue arguing, although they really love each other, as will be proven in the not-sock-o-certainly-did-see-that-coming-ending. Frances returns the bag to its owner, Greta (Isabelle Hupert gamely slumming it) at her home and goes inside for a cup of tea. Sigh. “No, stupid!” We shout at the screen. “Have you never seen a stalker film? Don’t you know what happens when you befriend a kind, lonely stranger who has a silly accent and cakes?” We weren’t surprised though, that knowing, foreign Greta is just a bit whacko and becomes fixated on the twitcher. We won’t tell you anymore. It’s not because we expect that you will fall for the misleading advertising and go to see this turgid rubbish, and so are avoiding spoilers; but to be honest, it’s because we can’t be bothered. Read the following list of bad stalker movie tropes if you really want to know where it goes from there, but you already do.

In the style of The Babadook List of Bad Horror Movie Tropes we give you The Greta List of Bad Stalker Movie Tropes.  There is of course an overlap with the Bad Horror Movie Tropes, viz –

  • A cute, shaggy pet dog. Preferably white.
  • A concerned and mild-mannered neighbour or work colleague of the opposite sex.
  • Contemptuous police.
  • A large, unnaturally dark house; the topography of which is unclear. Curtains, a basement and lamp-lit corners are mandatory.

Using Greta as our template, we add, to the Bad Stalker Movie tropes, in no particular order:-

  • an (apparently) chance meeting.
  • a nice, naive person, generally seen in extreme close-up.
  • a knowing stranger (if they are foreign, all the better).
  • an incriminating item left in an easily accessible place.
  • a view over the shoulder as a victim studies something revelatory so intently that they forget that they are in extreme danger.
  • a meeting in a cafe.
  • banging on a locked door.
  • drugging.
  • a bad wig.
  • photographs.
  • something creepy seen outside, through a window.
  • the discovery that a character is not dead, or locked up, or where they are supposed to be.
  • the return of the nice, naive person to an unsafe situation for no good reason.
  • the sudden resurrection of someone who seemed to be dead.
  • a final, chilling coda.

If some sadist ever gags you, ties you to a bed in a small room, and forces you to watch Greta, squeeze your eyes shut really tightly and hum loudly to yourself throughout, but for the obligatory scene when Greta goes nutso and starts shrieking and tossing crockery around in frustration. That’s the one good bit. We think that that was not acting on Mme Hupert’s part.

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Smug of Glebe

    March 21, 2019

    If you want a stalker film, try 'Fatal Attraction,' 'Taxi Driver,' 'Play 'Misty' for Me', 'The Great Gatsby'...

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