Theatrical Reviews

Ma Review

Ma 1

Studio:
Universal Pictures   

What’s It About?
A lonely single woman with a traumatic past chances upon a group of teens, befriends them, and lets them use her basement for illicit drinking and partying. But she is certainly not all she seems.   

Who’s In It?
Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station, & more recently Hidden Figures)
Diana Silvers (Glass, & more recently Booksmart)   

Other notables include:
Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6-8, The Girl On The Train, & more recently Beauty & The Beast)
Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear, Natural Born Killers, August: Osage County)   

Director:
Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up, Hidden Figures)   

Audiences Expect:
Director Tate Taylor has an impressive back catalogue with regular cast members such as Octavia Spencer and Allison Janney, and his latest, Ma, is no different.
Taylor’s brilliant choice of the loveable Octavia Spencer in the lead role as a lonely, vulnerable and damaged woman capable of who knows what, is a masterstroke and elevates his relatively standard teen horror to great heights.
Teaming up with Blumhouse, who seem to have the Midas touch when it comes to turning low budget chillers into box office gold, Ma sees Sue Ann, a lonely single woman with a traumatic past, who chances upon a group of teens, befriends them, and lets them use her basement for illicit drinking and partying.
But it turns out she has something of a traumatic past after an incident at high school, and despite wanting to fit in with these youngsters, she also has some hidden anger to direct against some of their parents, her class contemporaries, and therefore by extension, potentially against them. But can she keep her emotions in check?
The film is fun and at times funny, with some fine performances from the likes of Juliette Lewis as a single mum, Luke Evans as a dodgy resident, and Diana Silvers, fresh from her success in Booksmart, but this film is all about Octavia Spencer.
So often the support character, and a brilliant support mind, she really goes through the gamut of emotions in this one, at one time making you feel nothing but pity for her, while at another time being totally and utterly terrified in what is one of the most memorable performances of the year.   

In A Nutshell:
A classic teen horror movie, elevated by a brilliantly mesmerising, frightening & vulnerable performance from Octavia Spencer.   

Highlight:
The unnerving atmosphere Octavia Spencer without a doubt   

Lowpoint:
It slightly pulls its punches at the end


Certificate: 15

EDITOR’S CHOICE