Movie Review: Ma (2019)

Synopsis: Following her parents' divorce, Maggie moves with her mom to her mom's former hometown and makes friends with some of the kids at her new high school. She helps her new friends convince a lonely woman, Sue Ann, to supply them with alcohol and she takes it a step further by allowing them to drink and party at her house on the condition they remain in the basement, and one remains sober enough to drive. However, Maggie soon realizes there may be more to Sue Ann than first appears and, as she tries to convince her friends not to take advantage of the woman's offer, Sue Ann counters back in extreme and violent ways.

Who's in it? The movie stars Octavia SpencerDiana SilversJuliette LewisMcKaley Miller and Corey Fogelmanis.

Review: It was too hot to do too much outside yesterday afternoon, so I convinced my wife to watch a movie in front of the air conditioning instead. After some consideration, I picked this one and it ended up being an OK choice though not as good as I hoped.

This is one of those movies that puts a lot of emphasis on the whole "stranger danger" concept. There were a lot of red flags surrounding Sue Ann (Spencer) but they continued to be ignored even as they became more obvious. As the movie revealed more about her life and her connection to the kids' parents, it added a new context that made me wonder how far she was willing to go to get revenge or, if she just wanted friends.

I did feel like the filmmakers either don't understand high school kids or just don't like them because they seemed to be willing to put up with an awful lot just to have a place to get drunk. As I mentioned, there were red flags and I could see some of them being ignored, but if I had a woman invite me to party in her basement, and she then held a gun to my head and told me to strip as a joke, I would like to think my high school self would have been smart enough to leave right after rather than not think there was anything wrong with that.

I also felt like the movie could have spent a little more time explaining the situation between Sue Ann and her daughter, Genie (Tanyell Waivers). It felt like there was a lot more of a story there, both from Sue Ann's insistence Genie remain in a wheelchair when she could walk and the way she constantly drugged her daughter, but the movie never really clarifies any of it.

Final Opinion: In the end, this was a basic thriller that was somewhat entertaining but also relies heavily on a bunch of people not being too bright. I didn't hate it, but I don't know if I would consider it anything memorable either.

My Grade: C


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