by J. Dalgleish
*** 3 Stars
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers & Luke Evans
Plot Synopsis: A lonely middle-aged woman befriends some teenagers and decides to let them party in the basement of her home. But there are some house rules: One of the kids has to stay sober, don’t curse, and never go upstairs.
Ma is about a group of teenagers who want to get drunk and party but do not have anywhere to go. After buying them alcohol, Ma (played by Octavia Spencer) invites them over to her house to have a party in the basement. This house soon becomes a neighbourhood hot-spot for parties and a sudden twist occurs being that Ma is a psychopath who tortures and kills her victims, as well as keeping her own daughter hostage.
Unfortunately, this movie did not really live up to what it was meant to be. After hearing that Octavia Spencer was going to play a psychopathic killer, I was all for it. But the story ran on for too long and was a relatively exhausting watch if I am being honest. Octavia Spencer’s performance was absolutely stunning, one of the best aspects of this movie; she was truly chilling, and it was almost like she had played that role many-a-time before. The camera shots used in this movie, especially during the party montage scenes, were put together extremely well. The main thing that this movie was lacking was a coherent story. There was an extremely basic structure to this movie and there are many things that the writer could have done to improve the story to probably make this one of the movies of the year. It is a fast-paced storyline and they manage to keep up well with that but there are some flashbacks from Ma’s childhood which I didn’t find relevant to the actual story. However, Octavia’s performance saves this, you are made to feel scared of her, you are made to laugh at her and at some points you are made to feel sympathy for her. With any other actor than Octavia, this movie would have been horrible to watch.
There are no unexpected twists in this movie; everything is highly predictable and does not really introduce ‘shock horror’ unless you hate gory and bloody scenes.
Ma is currently available on Sky and was rated 15 by the BBFC.