HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Ma Big Momma's HearseBuy this film here.
Year: 2019
Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis, McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown, Tanyell Waivers, Dominic Burgess, Heather Marie Pate, Tate Taylor, Luke Evans, Margaret Fegan, Missi Pyle, Allison Janney, Kyanna Simone Simpson
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Maggie (Diana Silvers) is a sixteen-year-old moving to a new town to start again with her single mother Erica (Juliette Lewis), who grew up there before she left for California to try her luck. That luck ran out a while ago, hence she is back where she was, only now with a daughter keen to assert her independence. To that end, Maggie has made a few new friends in high school who invite her to hang out with them, though this half-turns out to be down to them wanting someone to buy alcohol for them, and she has an innocent face which can play for sympathy from passersby who are walking past the local shop. Which is how they all meet the seemingly innocent Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer)...

Ma was another Blumhouse horror, and another instance of the twenty-tens throwing up a horror that developed into nasty ways but skimped on any over the top gore; sure, there was bloodletting, but not to an excessive degree, and it was the bad behaviour that was the source of the chills rather than any psychopathic slasher flick villain cutting a swathe through the cast. Indeed, though slashers appeared to be the inspiration for title character Ma's killing spree, she did not ultimately go as far as she could have, and even allowed injured characters to survive to the end credits which betrayed a softer heart than perhaps many in the audience would have wanted for their shocker movie.

It could be you could put that down to the film being called Ma and despite some pretty bizarre point scoring, the project still retained some affection for Spencer as a surrogate for every mother who did her best to look after the younger generation but fell short in some way. In Sue Ann's case, that was thanks to incidents in her past that interestingly for the genre implied that her race was what made her the target of bullies at high school - aside from something as high profile as Candyman, racism was not often the motive for a horror, possibly because of the genre's regrettable habit of bumping off its black characters and allowing its white ones to survive to the very conclusion.

At least for many of the more thoughtless ones, as the murder of the black guy had become such a cliché that it had entered the pop culture conversation. Here, however, the black woman was the perpetrator of the wickedness, thanks to a rewrite on Scotty Landes' script instigated by Spencer's casting by Tate Taylor, who had directed The Help which won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar a few years before (there's an odd career path for both of them). Luckily, Spencer showed an interest in the lead because she was a big fan of horror movies, resulting in a more resonant effort than it might otherwise have been, the lead exacting her vengeance on the whites who victimised her in her younger years, an experience she has never been able to let go since the town needs someone to look down on.

And Sue Ann fits that bill perfectly: more social trappings saw her as a necessary part of life in a town where the economy was struggling and anyone with any sense would have left as soon as they could, which had those left behind needing a scapegoat to elevate their own none-too-impressive status. She is the unfortunate recipient of that unwanted role, but not everyone on the receiving end of that treatment is going to the lengths that Sue Ann does, encouraging the kids of those who bullied her to drink in her basement, which they do happily after dully recognising their futures are about as promising as their go-nowhere parents'. So much so that despite their hostess giving off major crazy vibes - and we have no idea of how crazy she can get, which does justify the horror tag - they go along with her until it is too late. Ma was never going to be classic, but a surprisingly nuanced reading from Spencer in the Annie Wilkes role elevated it above what could have been disposable. Music by Gregory Tripi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 409 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: