Number 17 on the Countdown to Halloween
Movie Review by Siobahn Harris
What a creepy ass movie that will make you question the people you may have wronged. I was pretty worried about Ma when I first decided to review it. While I love Blumhouse and I loved Get Out, we all know how much I hated Happy Death Day. Thankfully, unlike Happy Death Day, this one was actually good.
Be careful who you bully.
Here you have a woman who lets her loneliness get the better of her. When a few high school kids ask her to buy them beer, she misunderstands their gratefulness for friendship. She starts out seeming so incredibly nice, but if you look closely, her kindness is rather creepy. The way she lingers, the way she smiles at them, it’s all weird.
After the kids get busted drinking, Sue Ann or Ma, offers her basement to the kids. Nothing says totally safe like partying in a stranger’s basement. Funny thing is, there was one kid who pointed out that it didn’t seem right. Unfortunately, when you have a group of kids and only one doesn’t want to do something, the majority tends to win.
Ma only has a few rules, no using the lord’s name in vain, don’t spit on the floor, check in with her before leaving (to ensure that the kids are safe to drive), and no going upstairs. Hanging out at Ma’s house soon became a regular thing, but when things start getting a little weird, the kids stop showing up as much.
It started when one of the house rules were broken. Ma got pretty pissed and used a little force to get the girls back downstairs. However, that little moment, resulted in Ma blowing up their phones with apologies; showing her desperate needy side.
When the kids have had enough, they send out a group message telling everyone to stop hanging out with Ma. But this just seems to unleash Ma’s darker side. The poor kids don’t even realize the level of crazy they are dealing with. Ma knows what she wants and she’s willing to manipulate, lie, and murder to ensure she gets it.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good watch. You have a crazy lonely woman who seems to be attempting to get a second shot at her childhood. It’s a good idea for a story and what I like the most was that it’s targeted at two different audiences. Not only will it teach kids, be careful who you trust, but it teaches parents to keep a closer eye on their kids.
It was so cool to see so many familiar faces in this movie. Octavia Spencer (Ma), Juliette Lewis (Erica), Luke Evans (Ben), Missi Pyle (Mercedes), and Allison Janney (Doctor Brooks). It always makes for a fun watch when you see actors or actress you like, but seeing this many made it really cool.
Something that bothered me was Ma’s magical talent to search on Instagram. She is looking for one of the kids and just types in the name “Andy” and there he was at the top of the list. Magic. If I want to find someone on Instagram, I usually have to search through like 100 people before I find the right person. She’s got skills.
Also, there were so many red flags that these kids noticed, but they just ignored them for booze. I get it, teens like to drink, but I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to drink so bad that I would follow a stranger to their house and drink in their busted ass basement. You would think that these kids are super sheltered, but they seem to smoke and drink regularly. So why do they suddenly need this lady’s basement?
Based solely on the fact that this movie didn’t make me afraid to talk to strangers, I want to say no. However, I want to think about this differently. Teens, bullies, or parents of teenagers watching this movie might feel more fear than I did. For those who might watch Ma and get worried about where their kids are or who they are hanging out with, I’m going to say yes, this had True Fear. But for those of us who don’t have kids and who aren’t willingly drinking with strangers, no fear here. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a good movie. So enjoy it, just maybe not in someone’s dusty basement.