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Ma film review

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

A maternal thriller with a twist that nurtures a few jumps along the way.

Ma is the story of Sue Ann, played impressively by Octavia Spencer, a lonely woman harbouring dark secrets. She forms a strange friendship with a group of teenagers that quickly takes a turn for the worse when she becomes obsessed with them.

Don’t break the rule

Her new friends, though, think that Ma is the coolest grown-up around. At her house they can drink, party, and live with no rules. In fact, the only rule Ma does have is to never go upstairs. It’s not until this rule is broken that they start to realise Ma is not who they think she is.

In parts of the movie we see flashbacks of Ma’s childhood, particularly a scene in high-school where after a sexual encounter with a boy in a janitor’s closet, she is completely humiliated in front of the entire school.

A question of trauma

This traumatic event has suspended her in this stage of her life, leaving her unable to move forward. We see throughout the film flashbacks Sue Ann has to this very day. This event has impacted several aspects of her adult life. She has an intense need to stay in control of every situation from home décor to how her own daughter lives.

My question is this: does a traumatic event give her the right to retaliate years laters? Throughout the film, we can see that she is clearly unhinged and may have some other psychological issues. But would she have ended up this way had her high school experience been different? You’ll have to watch this edgy thriller and judge for yourself.

Ma is out in UK cinemas now and you can check out the trailer below.