In this psychological thriller, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer plays Sue Ann, later nicknamed “Ma”, a seemingly harmless citizen in a small Ohio town where she grew up. She leads a pretty mundane life until a group of underaged teens persuade her to purchase some alcohol on their behalf.
It is Maggie’s (Diana Silvers) endearing personality that Ma is particularly drawn to at first, coercing her to give into the request of purchasing their booze. Quickly Ma shows a creepy fondness for Maggie’s soon-to-be boyfriend, Andy (Corey Fogelmanis).
Creepy is an understatement in this film as Ma is found several times gazing into space at work and reminiscing about a disturbing past.
This inappropriate, to say the least, friendship seems to progress when Ma’s generosity continues. She eventually opens up her basement to the teens and transforms the place into the best drinking spot in town. Shortly after, Ma’s basement becomes the modern-day speakeasy for the entire high school. Everyone is partying at Ma’s.
But in just a matter of time, Ma’s school girl slip begins to show and the secrets begin to unfold. Her obsession with these group of teens is connected to the high school social life she never had, or did!
The teens are so overwhelmed by the substances and their own rebellion that they believe Ma is harmless — she just hasn’t had that much fun in a long time. But it’s Maggie’s speculation, and her’s alone, that drives the discovery of all of Ma’s secrets.
You might be able to connect the dots early on once the parents of the teens are introduced. Ma’s endearing phrase, “get home safe,” becomes more of a threat than an expression of concern.
There’s some sensible use of technology in the film that adds to the creepiness, but overall, the plot becomes pretty predictable as the scenes progress.
Catch Ma in theaters now: