After its steady stream of successes with films such as "Sinister", "The Conjuring", "Get Out" and "Insidious", Blumhouse Productions brings another chilling thriller in "Ma".
"Ma" tells the story of Maggie (Diana Silvers), a high school girl who moves back to her mother's (Juliette Lewis) hometown following her parents' divorce. She makes friends with a group of students Haley (McKaley Miller), Andy (Corey Fogelmains), Chaz (Gianni Paolo) and Darrell (Dante Brown).
When these students try to get an adult to purchase them alcohol, they meet the seemingly kind Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), who purchases it for them. Sue Ann also gives them a place to drink and party in the form of her basement.
But "Ma," as she's called, isn’t everything she appears. Eventually Maggie and her friends realize that the kindly Sue Ann is anything but.
This film is very reminiscent of the movie "Misery" in that the main characters start off sweet and kind and gradually slip into madness.
Spencer gives a tremendous performance as Sue Ann. She manages to make you feel sympathy for her character but also succeeds in making the audience feel suspense as she inflicts her terror.
There are some elements that feel underserved, however. The role of the parents is very minimal, though they make up a lot of Sue Ann’s backstory.
While Lewis is amazing as Maggie's mother, she has very little to do and one might ask themselves why they included her in the film when her character spends most of her time offscreen.
There are other adults in the film who end up having less to do than Erica. Andy’s father Ben (Luke Evans) has about 30 minutes of screen time but has almost nothing to do in it, while his girlfriend, Mercedes (Missi Pyle), has even less to do.
There are some amazing points throughout this movie. Sue Ann’s boss Dr. Brooks (Allison Janney) performs well with the little screen time she is given. Anyone who follows Janney will be able to connect with her and pay attention when she is on the screen.
The film is beautiful to watch. The credit for this goes entirely to the film's director, Tate Taylor. Having previously worked with Spencer in "The Help," Taylor does an amazing job showing the range that Spencer has in her characters.