This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jake Anderson’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
As Gregory Ellwood told me: "It's not even camp."
This movie doesn't deserve Allison Janney, and her barbs as Ma's acerbic boss at the vet clinic bring in some very welcome comic relief, even if few and brief. The part is so confoundingly itty-bitty, and culminates with an unsatisfying fate!
My money's on Greta for the better 2019 film about an older woman stalker of young adults! The absurdity is more artful, and the underlying thematic terrors more effectively tapped into.
The twist with Ma's daughter... are we gonna talk about the blatant (SparkNotes version) similarity to the concept of that The Act series on Hulu, from earlier this year?
Lots of plot holes/inconsistencies -- off the top of my head, I'm thinking about how the protagonist's one good judy, who was in on the breaking and entering that resulted in uncovering Ma's horrifying secrets (and who has more than enough other reasons to be too uneasy to do this), ends up back at Ma's for the party scene at the end that results in a group-drugging/torturing.
Can't stop thinking about how Octavia Spencer's talents are put to such better use for psychological thrills in this year's Luce, even if she plays the victim in that one. The script here is just so corny.
The writing isn't tender enough by any means to make the development of Ma's relationship with the kids seem uncannily believable; this is pulpy and cheap-ish stuff.
Conceptually akin to Nightmare on Elm Street, in that both have villains once spited by the parents of their young-adult prey. It's supposed to be a generational thing, and too much time and effort goes towards laying out the playing field.
I'm really not a big fan of such ham-handed depictions of school bullying. The division of evil and innocence is much too pronounced, providing context for Ma's snap without really demonstrating interest in ultimately settling on a nuanced sense of right vs. wrong.
Love Juliette Lewis and Missi Pyle, but they're not really put to memorable use here as a hardworking single-mother and ...horny girlfriend character, respectively.
Where: Harkins Tempe Marketplace (advance screening)