I was overly ecstatic about the premise behind MA! And with Academy award-winner Octavia Spencer leading a thriller? I just knew this one was going to be a summer winner. But oh was I wrong.
No fault of Spencer’s of course, she did a great job working with what she had – a story that was big on promise but light on delivery.
In the film, Sue Ann (Spencer) is a loner, who pretty much keeps to herself, outside of work, in a small Ohio town. Approached by a group of teenagers, begging her to buy their booze, she subsequently invites them to her home as long as they follow her house rules: one of the kids has to stay sober, no cursing, never go upstairs, and call her “Ma.” That friendly hospitality soon turns into a scary obsession that takes a horrifying turn and exposes a long hidden truth.
And oh how I waited for the punches to be thrown with this one. The build up was there, but the big reveals weren’t effective nor that shocking. And the “scary” scenes were more comedy than creep.
“Ma” had the makings to be a great horror/thriller – a social loner with a twisted past/present and a score to settle. Add in at least two mental illnesses that were hinted at but never truly explored, and the social implication that’s briefly mentioned regarding race, and this may have been the power punch I was expecting.
I rate it 2.5 out of 5 beats on the MMTrometer.
Until next thought, Thomasena
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Release Date: May 31, 2019
Rated R for violent/disturbing material, language, sexual content, and teen drug and alcohol use
Runtime: 110 minutes
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Written by: Scotty Landes
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller, Missi Pyle, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, and Dante Brown