Chloë Grace Moretz, it turns out, is a secret horror-film aficionado.
The actress made the surprising reveal on Tuesday at the premiere of her upcoming thriller, Greta, hosted by the Cinema Society. Moretz stars in the film as Frances, a kind and unsuspecting college graduate living in New York City with her best friend. When she finds a lost handbag on the subway, she travels to Brooklyn to return it to its lonely and isolated owner, Greta (played by Isabelle Huppert). But when Greta begins to obsess over her relationship with Frances, the real chaos begins.
Moretz’s appearance in Greta marks another step in her recent turn toward the darker roles that the horror genre affords (she most recently starred in the first act of Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria, as a troubled ballet student). “For me, it’s not even the darkness; it’s almost more the ability to be in a genre that welcomes the audience members, and the massive breadth of audience members that get in the seats and buy the ticket already,” Moretz said when explaining what draws her to the genre as a performer. “Within that, you can really try to subvert a genre and try to sell a lot of real storylines and real personal relationships between characters under the umbrella of thrilling, exciting, pulpy fare. You kind of get even more audience members than you would if you sold it as anything else, and it’s a fun way to reinvent a genre, which we really did with this,” she continued.
Greta, which Moretz defines as a remix of films in the vein of Basic Instinct and Single White Female, takes a familiar trope and subverts the expectation of who should be feared. The actress also sees it as having something in common with Jordan Peele’s Get Out. “This one really reminds me of Get Out in the sense of, it’s a story that is incredibly attainable, and one we’ve seen before, but it’s different because of the cast,” she said. “It’s Basic Instinct, it’s Single White Female, but with an all-female cast, and someone like Isabelle Huppert and I at the helm, which is something that makes it innovative and exciting, even though it’s something we’ve seen before.
“It was a pretty exciting movie to be able to film. Because I had such a great partner in Isabelle Huppert, it was kind of the perfect storm of a relationship to be able to put this all together, because I felt incredibly safe and it was incredibly genial,” Moretz continued, explaining that the experience of getting into the mind-set of a character who is being stalked and manipulated was not so difficult.
The actress admits that Suspiria, however, was the more frightening horror film to make. “We were completely stuck at the top of this mountain in Italy, and it was very spooky when we filmed it,” Moretz said. “This movie, I mean, I really very much enjoyed it. It was easier.”
And though Greta focuses on the stalking and manipulating done by Huppert’s character, Moretz said the screen legend was an accommodating “partner” on set, and that she had imparted wisdom to the young actress. “She continues to be a student on a daily basis, and she’s someone who never halts herself from learning,” Moretz said of Huppert. “She really treated me as a partner. She wanted my opinions, and she wanted to have open conversations together, and she really inspired me to always remember that even though I’ve done this for 13 years, and I’ve done over 60 films now, to continue to always question. Question yourself and question everything around you, and try to learn as much as possible, no matter what, which was a massive gift to be able to learn.”