Greta (2018 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byNeil Jordan
Screenplay by
  • Ray Wright
  • Neil Jordan
Story byRay Wright
Produced by
CinematographySeamus McGarvey
Edited byNick Emerson
Music byJavier Navarrete
Distributed byFocus Features
Release dates
  • 6 September 2018 (2018-09-06) (TIFF)
  • 1 March 2019 (2019-03-01) (United States)
  • 19 April 2019 (2019-04-19) (Ireland)
Running time
98 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Ireland
Box office$18.7 million

Greta is a 2018 psychological thriller film directed by Neil Jordan and written by Ray Wright and Jordan. The film stars Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore and Stephen Rea, and follows a young woman as she befriends a lonely widow who becomes disturbingly obsessed with her.

Greta held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 6 September 2018. It was theatrically released on 1 March 2019 in the United States, by Focus Features. The film has grossed over $18 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics.


Frances McCullen is a young waitress living in New York City with her friend and roommate Erica. Frances is still reeling from the death of her mother one year prior, and maintains a strained relationship with her workaholic father Chris. One morning, Frances finds a handbag on a subway train; the ID inside confirms the bag belongs to a Greta Hideg. Frances visits Greta the next day to return the bag and the kindly Greta invites her in for coffee.

Greta tells Frances she is a widow from France, and her daughter Nicola is still there, studying in Paris. Frances begins to spend time with Greta to keep her company, visiting the church where her husband played the organ, and helping her adopt a dog, despite Erica's objections that their friendship is unnatural. One night while having dinner at Greta's, Frances finds a closet full of multiple handbags, identical to the one she found on the train. Attached to the bags are names and phone numbers, including Frances's own.

Frances, disturbed by her discovery, decides to cut ties with Greta. Greta begins to stalk Frances, seeing herself as a replacement for Frances's late mother; she rings her multiple times and even turns up at the restaurant where Frances works, and sits outside, staring at her. Greta also stalks Erica; Frances and Erica pursue a restraining order, but are told the process could take months. Frances later meets a former lover of Greta's daughter, and finds out how deep Greta's lies run: not only is she really Hungarian and not French, Greta's daughter actually committed suicide four years ago due to her mother's sadistic behavior, and that Greta suffers with mental illness. Later that night, Greta shows up at the restaurant again, and insists to Frances that her mother had to die for them to meet, eventually causing a disturbing scene that results in Greta being hospitalized and Frances getting fired.

Frances is torn between going home with her father or going on vacation with Erica. Erica then suggests Frances lie to Greta, saying she is going away while secretly hiding in their apartment. The next morning, Frances is drugged and kidnapped by Greta; she locks Frances in a wooden toy chest in a secret room, then uses Frances's cell phone to separately text Erica and Chris, telling each that Frances is with the other. When Frances is released from the chest, she finds articles of clothing and IDs of other young women Greta had previously kidnapped; it is implied that Greta has killed all of them.

Erica and Chris eventually get together and learn that Frances is not with either of them. As time passes, Greta forces Frances to learn Hungarian and how to play the piano, trying to make her her new "daughter". During a cooking lesson, while Greta is distracted, Frances cuts off Greta's little finger with a cookie cutter and knocks her unconscious with a rolling pin. She tries to escape but finds that all the doors and windows are sealed. Frances runs into the basement to search for an exit and finds one of Greta's previous victims under a plastic sheet. Greta sneaks up behind Frances and suffocates her until she passes out.

Chris hires Cody, a private investigator, to find his daughter and investigate Greta. Cody learns that Greta was formerly a nurse until she was dismissed for misusing anaesthetics. Cody meets with Greta in her home. Frances, gagged and bound, attempts to get his attention by shaking the bed, but Greta blocks out the noise with music. When Greta is out of the room, Cody figures out there is a secret room behind the piano. Greta suddenly appears and plunges a syringe into his neck. He draws his gun as he loses consciousness, and Greta uses it to shoot him dead.

An indeterminate amount of time passes. Greta leaves another handbag on the subway and a young woman brings it to Greta's home. She invites the girl in and makes them a pot of coffee; Greta drinks her cup and starts to feel faint. The woman suddenly loses her Southern accent, takes off her wig, and reveals herself to be Erica, having drugged Greta's cup. She reveals that she has been searching for the handbag on the subway for a long time. Greta passes out and Erica finds Frances. As they try to escape, Greta, regaining consciousness, emerges from the shadows and grabs Frances's face before passing out again.

Erica and Frances place Greta's unconscious body in the toy chest and leave, using a metal Eiffel Tower trinket to lock it shut. After they leave the room to call the police, Greta begins to rattle the lid of the chest and the trinket shifts.



In May 2017, it was announced that Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz had signed to star in the film, then titled The Widow.[2] In August 2017, Maika Monroe joined the cast.[3] In September 2017, Stephen Rea, Colm Feore, and Zawe Ashton were added as well.[4]

The film was produced by Metropolitan Films in cooperation with Lawrence Bender Films, Little Wave Productions and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. It also received an 650,000 production grant from the Irish Film Board.[5]

Principal photography took place in and around Dublin, beginning in October 2017.[6] It was also filmed on location in Toronto and New York City.


The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 6 September 2018.[7] Shortly after, Focus Features acquired distribution rights to the film for $4 million, though some sources believed the number was as high as $6 million.[8] It was theatrically released on 1 March 2019 in the United States.[9]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 60% of 283 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The website's consensus reads: "A bonkers B movie that's occasionally elevated by its A-list talent, Greta dives headlong into camp and struggles to stay afloat."[10] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 54 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[11]

Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Greta was released alongside A Madea Family Funeral, and was projected to gross around $6 million from 2,000 theaters in its opening weekend.[12] It grossed $4.5 million in its opening, finishing eighth, going on to an overall gross of $10.5 million the United States and Canada, and $8.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $18.7 million.[13]


  1. ^ "Greta". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Cannes: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz to Star in Thriller 'The Widow' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (1 August 2017). "Maika Monroe Set For Neil Jordan's 'The Widow'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (13 September 2017). "Film News Roundup: 30WEST Buys 'Beast'; 'Stephen Rea, Colm Feore Join Chloe Grace Moretz Thriller". Variety. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  5. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (22 November 2017). "Greta filming in Manhattan". Cineuropa. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Neil Jordan's 'The Widow' with Chloe Grace Moretz receives Irish Film Board funding". Screen Daily. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (21 August 2018). "Toronto: Natalie Portman's 'Vox Lux,' Chloe Grace Moretz's 'Greta' Join Festival Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (8 September 2018). "Focus Features Closes $6 Million Deal For Neil Jordan Thriller 'Greta:' Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  9. ^ Hipes, Patrick (7 December 2018). "Focus Features Sets Chloë Grace Moretz-Isabelle Huppert Pic 'Greta's Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Greta". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 23 May 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  11. ^ "Greta". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  12. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (26 February 2019). "'Will 'A Madea Family Funeral' Bury Tyler Perry's Franchise at the Box Office?". TheWrap. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Greta". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 23 May 2023.Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]