Film Review: “Ma” (2019) ★

Not every horror movie is expected to turn into a masterpiece. But it should, we all can agree on it, play its part in the horror genre so that the audience gets scared at least mildly if not more. Besides that, it also has to have a decent storyline we can more or less follow, have characters we would care about, and a villain to hate as much as we can. With Blumhouse’s Ma, unfortunately, none of this has been delivered. In fact, it is so dull I can’t believe it has made that far.

The film follows a group of teenagers who gladly accept a lonely woman’s invitation to a party in her basement, which is, as per her, safer than drinking and hanging outside. What is meant to be a fun night turns into a game of life and death between the teenagers and Sue Ann, known as Ma, who has her hidden intentions to end the night the only way she presumed to be the right one. However, not everything is going to be that easy, as everyone involved thinks they can predict the end when it’s never intended to be that way.

Directed by Tate Taylor and written by Scotty Landes, “Ma” is one of those utterly unwatchable films you forget about. Right from the start, there is not even a single character to care about. The written lines are insulting, offensive, and should not even get approval for the wide cinema. For instance, when we meet Maggie, portrayed by Diana Silvers, she seems like the only who acts properly and does not jump onto the first opportunity to get drunk or high with her friends. But that changes instantly when she befriends her high school classmates, Haley, Andy, Chaz, and Darrell. In fact, she even agrees to stand outside of a store hoping to convince an adult person to buy them alcohol.

This is how they meet Octavia Spencer’s Ma, who refuses at first to buy anything, acting like a real adult in the room. But as soon as she realizes Andy’s last name, she turns into the sweetest human being by agreeing, continuously, buying drinks for them, and later on offering them to continue partying in her basement. In her defense, she tries to be nice. But as soon as Maggie and her friends enter Sue Ann’s basement, they begin acting like they are the ones who own the house. Moreover, they started planning how to redesign the house and after some time, invite the entire school to the only place where alcohol is allowed to be served to the underaged.

There are many issues in the film. Performance wise, please trust me on that, it’s as awful as it could get. The entire movie is an insult to the art as a whole that should not have been screened at a theater. Even though the film itself, as I already said, is unwatchable, it had one great point that should make everyone watch it. Of course, you may or may not dislike it, however, it does explain why Sue Ann became bad, and that badness was not planted into her mind for no reason, but rather forced by a group of people when she was young.

Getting back to the point of “Ma”,  it touches upon the most important subject of bullying and what it does to its victim. The sad part is that we have to come to a term where we all must deal with long-term trauma as we watch it being endured in one person for a very long time. Besides that, everything else in “Ma” is like a bad dream no matter how hard I personally tried to keep my eyes wide open, it would not disappear throughout the screening. But I hope that won’t happen to you because it does not matter how awful it was, it still deserves to be seen to be understood or criticized. But it’s now up to you, my dear reader, to make your choice whether to see it or not.

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