(My original post was written for Filmoria, but it has been edited since then)
From a foul-mouthed, kick-ass superhero to a fresh-faced, telekinetic Carrie White, Chloe Grace Moretz has been acting since the age of seven, winning an impressive total of 15 various young talent awards over her eight years on the silver screen.
With her first two appearances in two episodes of the TV series The Guardian (2001) and her first movie role was in Heart of the Beholder (2005), she has since has had a number of recurring TV roles including Kiki George in Dirty Sexy Money and Sherri Maltby in Desperate Housewives, and was also the voice of the Darby in the popular children’s animated TV series My Friends Tigger & Pooh,
But it wasn’t her later performance in The Amityville Horror (2005) remake that she earned some greater recognition and has since gone onto films such as Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, and the film adaptation of The 5th Wave.
Here is my ranking of her performances (not of the films themselves) to date:
1. Let Me In (2010)
My personal favourite role from Moretz is in Matt Reeves’ remake of the Swedish horror, Let The Right One In, which is in turn based on the 2004 novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Like the Carrie remake, this is another example of how remakes can be done right, but Let Me In is a much better stand-alone film and horror in general. Starring alongside Kodi Smit-McPhee and Richard Jenkins, Moretz stars as a vulnerable young vampire, as Reeves perfectly combines horror with romance, mystery, and drama. Horror certainly seems to be the genre Moretz is most comfortable in, but over the years she has undoubtedly shown an awful lot of diversity in her acting, and things are only going to keep going up.
2. Brain On Fire (2013)
I had been wanting to see this film for adaptation and really wish I had read the book beforehand, but the lack of UK release made this slip my mind. Which is a real shame, because Susannah Cahalan’s story about her amazing recovery is fascinating. Horribly cruel, but what a curious illness she was plagued with.
Chloë Grace Moretz gives a great performance. The story could have been handled a little better, but the reality of her situation kept me watching.
3. Carrie (2013)
One of Moretz’s most recent roles, and one that saw her return to the horror genre that made her famous, was in Kimberly Peirce’s remake of the classic horror, Carrie. Many of us dreaded the remake having loved Brian De Palma’s 1976 original based on Stephen King’s novel, but with Moretz in the lead, it wasn’t all that bad. I can’t help but think she was far too pretty for the role, but I suppose that’s never a bad thing. The film was a perfect example of how well remake can be done, and how enjoyable one can be if you haven’t seen the original, but the De Palma’s film was still too much to live up to. Pierce’s version was a lot more American teen high school than psychotic scare-fest, but Moretz suited the modernised remake perfectly.
4. Kick-Ass (2010)
And where would we be without mentioning Moretz’s performance as Hit-Girl in Matthew Vaughn’s superhero action film, Kick-Ass? This is the role that Moretz is most well-known for, and there’s no surprise there.
Kick-Ass isn’t a film that I particularly enjoyed, but there’s no denying Moretz’s ass-kicking ability. And that’s why you’ve got to love her.
5. If I Stay (2009)
If I was about 5 years younger then I would have loved this film, but the 16-year-old emo me came out a little as I watched this, and I could see myself relating to it in the past. For teenage girls (or ‘young adults’) this is a pretty decent drama, led excellently by the beautiful Chloë Grace Moretz.
For the older audience, it certainly misses the spot and level of emotion that a story like this needs, but it does what it needs to for its intended audience. It may be childish and naive, but it does have a lot of potential.
My rankings continued:
- 6. Hick – – Chloë Grace Moretz is brilliant in this comedy thriller. The story is pretty original, the pacing keeps you interested, and the plot goes places you wouldn’t imagine it to. All in all, it’s a very engaging thriller and the characters are a lot of fun.
- 7. Greta – – I was really looking forward to this, but it sadly disappointed on many levels for me. Directed by Neil Jordan, I was expecting more of a psychological horror. He usually delivers on setting up a really stressful and intense atmosphere and this story needed one that made you feel constantly uncomfortable and threatening, but it wasn’t until the final ten minutes or so that I felt any of that. The buildup just didn’t excite me so I struggled to get into it for the most part. It doesn’t leave much of an impact, either, although there are a few well-paced scenes that were effective. But the female-led cast is what I was most excited for. Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe are all brilliant actresses from past and present, but I felt that it was only Monroe who stood out in any way. The rest just left me just a little underwhelmed.
- 8. The Amityville Horror (2005) – – From reading up about the ‘true story’ it is based on, it seems like quite a good adaptation, though things do happen pretty fast so a lot of the scares go over your head. There are some really creepy moments throughout, but it has no after effect. A great cast, though.
- 9. Hugo – – The use of two children, Butterfield and Moretz, in the lead roles of this story is why the film works so well because this is how the adventure unravels. They are intrigued, they are excited. Butterfield and Moretz both give a brilliant performance in Hugo. Not really emotionally relatable, but they do what he had to at a high level, playing roles that fit them and their ages extremely well. You can read my full review here.
- 10. 500 Days of Summer – – What I love most about 500 Days of Summer is that the film uses a huge reversal of roles, showing relationships in an almost more traditional way. Rom-coms usually focus on the male character as the dominant role in a relationship and they typically end in an unrealistic happily-ever-after; that’s why this film is so different. Here, we see the female character stepping up to the male stereotype of only wanting to have a bit of fun and refusing commitment or wanting to label the relationship. You can read my full review here.
- 11. November Criminals – – You can see that November Criminals had bigger intentions as it doesn’t quite have the impact that it was hoping for. The crime mystery doesn’t really work alongside the high school romance, with the story feeling too simple and Elgort’s character not seeming to have enough motivation to get so involved. But I really enjoyed Ansel Elgort and Chloë Grace Moretz’s chemistry.
- 12. The 5th Wave – – What it all comes down to is that the film adaptation tries to over-simplify everything that the book puts its focus into, rushing the slow and convincing reveals of the overlapping stories that make the book so thought-provoking, and turning it into a cheesy, teenage drama, too typical to have any impact as a dystopian apocalypse. With rushed character and plot development, a story that was once well-thought-out and surprising in turns becomes confusing and stripped of any complications, losing all of the connections and concerns that the audiences felt towards the book. You can read my full review here.
- 13. Dark Places – – The adaptation does stick closely to the novel in terms of plot and twists, but it doesn’t have the same twisted, dark edge to it. You can’t connect to the characters as well as you do in the novel, either. Reading the book, I felt so uncomfortable in how much I liked the young Ben Day, whilst you’re just not given the chance to in the film. He’s not as sympathetic or as threatening, and it was this imbalance in his character that engaged you. You can read my full review here.
- 14. Suspiria – – A toe-curlingly twisted, gruesome, haunting, and dark horror. The tone is handled brilliantly and it is paced and choreographed as precisely as Madame Blanc’s dances. A real effective nightmare, this is definitely a film that leaves a lasting impact.
- 15. Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Row –
- 16. Dark Shadows – – It’s far from a Tim Burton masterpiece, but maybe that’s just because we’ve seen his gothic style so often that we’re just not overwhelmed by it any more. I still thought there was something unique about this film, though. Its look feels similar, the cast is predictable, but I enjoyed the combination of dark comedy and fantasy. Burton has done a lot worse lately, whilst this is definitely a film I would watch again.
- 17. The Equalizer – – A typical Denzel Washington thriller where he’s able to take out a whole mafia, again, all for a young girl who we don’t see enough of, but what keeps you watching is how badass his character is.
- 18. Clouds of Sils Maria –
- 19. The Eye –
- 20. Muppets Most Wanted – – I preferred it a lot more to 2011’s The Muppets. It’s a lot funnier, the musical sequences are catchier, and the characters/actors supporting the muppets are a lot better.
- 21. Movie 43 – – All I really have to say is that if I went to the cinema to see this, I would have walked out in the first ten seconds. Why do films like this need to be made?
Note: I still need to see The Miseducation of Cameron Post, I Love You Daddy, Say When, Texas Killing Fields, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jack and the Beanstalk (2009), Not Forgotten, The Poker House, The Cure, The Third Nail, Wicked Little Things, Room 6, Big Momma’s House 2, and Heart of the Beholder.