Ma

Ma ★★★½

"Ma" is Octavia Spencer's show. An excellent performance with several memorable moments (the run over scene is fantastic) and capable of arousing a wide range of emotions, from compassion to pure fear.

Seriously, Octavia Spencer is really scary here, swapping personalities in a blink of an eye and with a huge destructive potential that is only contained by a weak crowd-pleasing ending.

Sue Ann (Spencer) is a broken woman (as indicated by the poster) who had her emotional development shattered by a high-school "joke" of very bad taste. Literally.
The trauma resurfaces when Sue Ann unintentionally meets the children of her former schoolmates and sees an opportunity for revenge.

Perhaps the idea of a dangerous stalker with no apparent reason for her cruelties other than her own amusement would've been more frightening, but knowing the traumas that made Sue Ann the monster she is today gives a larger dimension to the character, who is now not just a crazy villain, but was originally a victim.

I was pleasantly surprised by how sexually explicit this movie is. Everything revolves around sex. From spicy conversations between teenage friends and delusions involving pedophilia to off camera oral sex and a little glimpse of Luke Evans' dick (fake or not, I liked it).
It's disgusting and shocking as it should be, showing only what is needed to illustrate Sue Ann's trauma.

The whole cast is very good and the dialogues sound spontaneous especially with the teenagers. But the adult cast suffers with little screen time for so many characters, which ends up lessening the emotional impact of the third act's revenge.

I feel as if several scenes involving the characters of Missi Pyle, Allison Janney and Dominic Burgess have been cut off because they seem to jump right out of their introductions to their endings. It's a shame because they have great comic potential but barely appear in the movie. A huge waste.

Also, the ending is unfortunately, as I said, very crowd-pleasing and isn't up to par with the great development during the second act, let alone the powerful villain crafted by Spencer.

Despite all the little mistakes, "Ma" is a welcome surprise led by an unforgettable performance by Octavia Spencer. A new scream queen is born?
I don't know, but I certainly hope Spencer accepts more roles in horror movies from now on.

7/10 - GOOD

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