Thursday, October 3, 2019

[Review] Ma

It’s ridiculous. It’s hilarious. It’s sinister. And it’s right on the other side of the door. The maternally-titled Ma is a batshit and bonkers B-horror spectacle that features a giddily disturbing performance from Octavia Spencer. 

The story revolves around a group of obnoxious, thrill-hungry teenagers who high-five each other at the sight of free booze. Eventually they meet an unassuming lady named Sue Ann (Spencer), who curiously lets them party in her basement whenever they want. “Call me Ma,” she says. But the fun ends (or just begins - depending on how you look at it) when Ma becomes smothering and stalkerish by dark means.

This comically sadistic and head-scratching film is like a drunken Lifetime movie that stumbled upon a dose of rage-roids and biblical sins. Revenge is served up in the form of sewing and ironing, and I’m not talking about afternoon pastimes or usual household chores. Yes - mouths are sewn and stomachs are ironed. It’s shocking to the point where you’re almost surprised that this movie didn’t tack on a notorious NC-17 rating. 

Octavia Spencer is fully game as the creepy title character. It’s a performance that’s as funny as it is psychotic. She’s warm on the outside but about one inkling of disrespect away from snapping. And once she does snap, she goes all the way. Spencer seems to be having a blast in this role, going over-the-top with skill. As the film progresses, we learn more about that background of Ma through vivid flashbacks and her history of getting bullied and humiliated by the parents of the very kids she’s schemingly taken into her home.

“I was just a kid!”
“So was I, motherfucker!” 

I’m not saying that this is the proper way to achieve vengeance against high school bullying, but it surely is an entertaining watch on Saturday night if you’re in past curfew.  

( 6.5/10 )

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