Runtime 98 minutes R
I don’t like horror. Had I known this was basically a Psycho-like film, I would have passed. So it’s a very good thing that I didn’t know about it because it is brilliantly made. Neil Jordan directs with pace and tension that never lets up. The cinematography (Seamus McGarvey) is not only award-quality; it’s as good as I’ve seen; in fact, it makes the film what it is.
Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz) works as a waitress in a trendy New York restaurant. She finds a discarded purse on the subway, picks it up, finds who left it, and returns it to her.
Neil Jordan directs with pace and tension that never lets up.
The owner of the purse is a lonely widow, Greta Hideg (Isabell Huppert). After Frances and Greta start to establish a relationship (Frances has recently lost her mother and Greta seems like her new mother-figure) the movie gets stranger and stranger. This is where the cinematography takes over as Greta pursues Frances with unrelenting purpose. While there are some scenes, especially a chase segment in which Greta is following Frances’s roommate, Erica Penn (Maika Monroe) and messaging pictures of Erica back to Frances, stretch credulity, still the segment is tense enough to avoid campiness.
The acting of Moretz and Hubbert is first class. Hubbert is usually seen in French romances, so this is a real switch for her and she carries it off with aplomb, with a big assist from McGarvey, who knows how to film her to make her truly fearsome.
Even if, like me, you don’t like horror, this is worth seeing just to appreciate the incomparable filmmaking.
Tony Medley is an MPAA-accredited film critic. See more reviews at TonyMedley.com.