A middle-aged woman befriends a few teenagers, buys them alcohol and lets them drink at her home. I don’t know about you folks, but high school me would have loved that. Well, that’s pretty much what happens in MA. However, since this is a Blumhouse film it’s pretty much a no brainer that things will not go well for our group of teens.
The big draw for me was that they got Octavia Spencer for a lead role in MA, I think this would be the big draw for most people. This role is something that so out of the norm for her, after seeing her in such films as The Help, Hidden Figures, & The Shape of Water. The truly odd thing is she wanted to play this role.
Spencer plays Sue Ann Ellington a timid veterinary assistant who runs into a bunch of kids that are trying to buy some alcohol. She initially refuses but after a bit of persuasion, she buys the kids some alcohol. They run into her a second time and she eagerly buys them the booze they want but she invites them to her house to drink, this way they don’t get into any trouble. Our group of idiots jumps at the chance to drink in a safe space where the cops can’t just roll up on them and bust up their good time. So our kids, Maggie, Andy, Haley, Chaz & Darrell all start partying with Sue Ann and her house quickly becomes the party spot.
Sue Ann begins to exhibit some shockingly aggressive and obsessive behavior with the kids that really starts to bother Maggie. So they stop hanging out with Sue Ann and what does she do sends about 100 text messages saying she’s sorry, so lo and behold the kids, minus Maggie, are back at Ma’s to hang out because alcohol is more important than personal safety for drunk teens, true story. Other issues start to arise and we learn that Sue Ann went to school with Maggie’s mom – Erica (Juliette Lewis), Andy’s dad – Ben (Luke Evans), and Bens High School girlfriend – Mercedes (Missi Pyle).
Once we start to see flashbacks of how Sue Ann was treated in High School it explains her odd behavior as she got older. Sue Ann seemed to be a mix of Carrie as a teen, sans the telekinesis and Misery’s Annie Wilkes as an adult, a tortured teen who becomes a seemingly shy, but extremely dangerous woman.
Sadly, the movie didn’t live up to the hype I saw in the commercials. Spencer is fantastic as Ma, and I pretty much expected her to be on point for this film. Even Diana Silvers as Maggie gave a passable performance, but this movie plays out like a comedy that tries way too hard to be serious. One scene the audience is laughing the next, there’s an uncomfortable groan, the next scene half the crowd is yelling “WAIT …WHAT?!” The movie also has one of the lowest body counts of any horror movie I’ve ever seen, not that a certain number of deaths will make the movie any better but if you’re going to put the label horror on a film I’m expecting to see some pretty inventive ways a person is killed or something close to double digits in murders.
I recommend if you still plan on seeing this movie that you take a page from the high school kids play book and have a few drinks. It may not help, but it damn sure won’t hurt.
Sadly even that is not enough to make this a worthwhile watch. I'd wait till it hits Redbox if you really wanna check it out.