With still a few months to go, 2019 has already been a pretty good year for horror cinema. I think I’ve gone to the movies more this year than any of the previous five or so and I really haven’t walked out of the theater disappointed yet. One film that was great the first time around and even more so after a re-watch, is Tate Taylor’s Ma.
A group of friends looking to score some booze get lucky when they meet Sue Ann, who not only buys them the drinks but also offers a safe place to party. After Sue Ann, aka “Ma,” goes from gracious host to obsessed mad woman, the kids’ greatest dream quickly becomes their greatest nightmare.
Aside from their one folly that was Truth or Dare, Blumhouse has been on quite a roll. I know this stream of good entries from the production house of Jason Blum has to come to an end eventually, but it certainly did not do so with Ma.
Ma stars an extremely talented cast; There is not one weak link in the whole bunch and everyone really is a treat to watch from start to finish.
The young cast that comprises the group of students who befriend the titular Ma feed off of each other extremely well, acting as if they have truly been friends forever. The breakout of that entire bunch, however, has to be Diana Silvers.
Silvers plays Maggie, who has just moved back to her mother’s hometown, officially the new girl at school. Accompanying the talented youngsters of this film are a whole slew of supporting cast members as their respective parents.
Maggie’s mother, Erica, is played Juliette Lewis (From Dusk Till Dawn, Natural Born Killers), while the father of Maggie’s new boyfriend, Andy, is played by the equally as impressive Luke Evans (No One Lives, Dracula Untold).
While all of these individuals do a tremendous job portraying their characters, their is no one quite as memorable as Octavia Spencer.
Spencer as Sue Ann is really something to see. Starting out a just a kind older woman looking to help out a bunch of kids, small cracks slowly begin to show through, exposing who Ma really is.
Ma is presented as a revenge thriller. To me, it is no more of a revenge film than something like Slaughter High, Friday the 13th, or any other film that depicts someone being effected by some wrongdoing at a younger age.
Those other films I mentioned are straight-up slasher films. Even if you don’t want to call Ma a bona fide “slasher,” it certainly has the spirit of one. The sole difference between this 2019 flick and those of the golden age of the 80s is that we are aware of who the antagonist is the entire time.
The antagonist’s mental anguish is still present, the lasting effects of abuse is still present, and most importantly, the body count is present.
If you have not watched Tate Taylor’s film yet and are on the fence about doing so, let me sway you in the right direction.
Ma features a strong cast, a well thought out script, and while it isn’t the most explicitly gruesome of horrors, it will still have you squirming in your sit quite a bit. Octavia Spencer is a delight to watch, as she slowly becomes more and more unhinged, and her young castmates are just as impressive.
Ma is available now on Digital and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, September 3, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
The home release contains deleted scenes, interviews with cast and crew, and an alternate ending that is just as great as the original theatrical one. Be sure to order your copy today!
I give this one a final rating of 4 yearbook photos out of 5.