Writer: Scotty Landes (Screenplay)
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis, McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianna Paolo, Dante Brown, Luke Evans
Plot: A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.
Tagline – Welcome to Ma’s
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Octavia Spencer Steals the Show
Story: Ma starts when Maggie (Silvers) moves to her mother’s Erica (Lewis) home town to put their lives back together, it isn’t long before Maggie becomes friends with Haley (Miller), Andy (Fogelmanis), Chaz (Paolo) and Darrell (Brown) who enjoy to party, only they can’t buy the booze yet.
The friends meet Sue Ann (Spencer) a lonely veteran nurse who agrees to help them buy booze, only if they use her basement to party, so she knows they will be safe, only for curiosity to get the best of them after they break the rules and Sue Ann shows a different nature to the caring one she starts with.
Thoughts on Ma
Characters – Sue Ann is a lonely veteran nurse that starts to befriend the local teenagers after buying them booze and offering them a place to drink in safety. Sue Ann gets nickname ‘Ma’ which makes her feel loved, only she is haunted by the events of her past which sees her starting to slowly show a darker side which puts the teenagers lives in danger. Maggie is the new girl in town, it doesn’t take her long t make friends and find a love interest, it is an unrealistic time scale this happens, she is trying to fit in which means going outside the normal support of her mother, Maggie is a mix of the innocent member of the group and the rebellious teen. Erica is her mother that is just trying to hold it together for her daughter, which means bringing her daughter back to her home town, she is the attempted cool mum that is trying to understand the decisions, but wanting to remain as the best friend figure in her life. Haley is the girl from school that welcomes in Maggie, she does fill the sluttier one of the two girls, she does get a couple of funny lines, but she is just the beginning of the annoyingly written teenagers that are generic as they come, make it seem like all they want to do is drink, get high or have sex, this doesn’t make any of them likeable, making it hard to support them.
Performances – Octavia Spencer gives one of her bet performances of her career, she breaks away from the wholesome figures we are used to seeing to make us feel uneasy whenever she is on screen. Octavia’s performance completely eclipses the rest of the cast, with most of the younger cast, Diana Silvers or McKaley Miller struggle to keep up with her, while Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans and Allison Janney rounding off the experienced supporting cast well.
Story – The story here follows a group teenagers that become friends with a lonely woman that offers them a chance to party in a place of safety, only it soon takes twisted turn when they learn about her true nature. This is a story that has plenty of positives and negatives, first the positives, which is the character of Sue Ann, which shows how a woman could balance two different sides to their nature, which is interesting to see which side of her we will be seeing each time we see her, the reveals along the way are supporting the decisions too. When it gets to the negatives, it does have the most generic unlikable group of teenagers, they do have more of a life away from drinking, drugs and sex which seems to be all they care about. Elsewhere on the negative side we get the typical bad decisions in horror which only frustrates throughout.
Horror – The horror elements of this film comes from Sue Ann’s mental state, which sees her doing actions which just make use feel uneasy, think having Annie Wilkes with a larger amount of people.
Settings – The film uses the small town setting to show us how everybody has a connection to each other an with the right connection you could have parties in secret.
Special Effects – The effects are only used very well when needed, we have a couple of moments which has the audience gasp and we don’t just go to the need to nothing.
Final Thoughts – This is a movie that Octavia Spencer completely steals, it is easily the highlight of the film, because when it comes to the supporting characters around her, we get decisions that just feel out of place.
Overall: Octavia Spencer is truly fantastic.