David Gifford’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ma is a movie that I can totally see people being all over the place, but like many of these movies I appreciate the risks and weird cinema appeal of it. This movie features one of my favorite horror performances in recent memory with Octavia Spencer being absolutely phenomenal. If you were impressed with Greta earlier in the year, this performance is better in my opinion. Not only because the character actually feels like a character that can exist, but just the character is more interesting in my opinion.
The horror here doesn’t show up for some time, so I wouldn’t go in to this expecting this to be an all-out horror romp. It’s a good time for sure, but you kinda have to embrace what it is going for. It’s a movie with a pretty serious story, and that part might surprise you. One of the things I loved about the movie was how believable it all was. It seems like a series of events that could possibly happen. Many kids will know a person somewhat like Ma: trying to relive their past, while hiding their darkness.
At the end of the day I loved Ma. It’ll definitely be one of my favorites of the year, but it's hard for me to fully recommend this to someone just because I have no idea if anyone else will like it. Not because it's not good, because it really is. It's just another one of those movies that purposefully makes you really uncomfortable, and if that isn’t your thing it's probably best to avoid this one.
Technical Meter: 7
Combined Score: 8