Meet Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) – or as the kids call her, “Ma”. She’s a lonely middle aged woman who befriends a group of teenagers and let’s them party in her basement. It’s all fun and games until Ma starts getting obsessive, aggressive, and takes a turn for the worst.
Ma is underwhelming, underdeveloped and super campy. Ma could have dug deeper into the themes of race and childhood trauma instead of being so subtle it does not even scratch the surface.
Viewers unfortunately get EXACTLY what they get in the theatrical trailer – a campy revenge tale with plot holes, questions and a rushed and sloppy final act. It’s disappointing and completely lacks any shock value.
What does not disappoint is the woman behind Ma. Octavia Spencer gives Ma waaaaay more than it deserves. She embraces every wild action and emotion to the point where you’re kind of rooting for her – especially when all the teens are so vapid and unlikable. You can tell Spencer had way too much fun with her role, which is what makes Ma fun to watch.
But the craziest part of Ma is the collection of strong actors it managed to get: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans and Allison Janney. Yes, that’s right. Ma has 2 ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS. How did this happen? Who thought this was a good idea? This mystery will remain more terrifying than the whole movie.
Final Thoughts: Ma is only worth your watch for Octavia Spencer. Without her, this movie would not have even been possible. Don’t make her drink alone.