Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on the movie "Ma," which is rated R and currently playing in theaters.
Unsettling and disturbing are two words to describe the feelings the movie "Ma" churned up inside of me.
Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a worker in a vet's office who agrees to buy alcohol for some high school teenagers.
Later, Sue Ann offers her basement for the teens to use as a party space, but she warns them to stay out of the rest of the house.
Maggie (Diana Silvers) is the new high school student in town. She agrees to partying in part because she wants to fit in with new friends Haley (McKaley Miller), Chaz (Gianni Paolo), Darrell (Dante Brown) and Andy (Corey Fogelmanis). Maggie and Andy are attracted to each other and start dating. However, it is Maggie who starts to suspect that Sue Ann, called Ma by the teens, is not as friendly as she seems.
It turns out that Sue Ann was horribly mistreated as a high school student where she attended classes with Maggie's mom Erica (Juliette Lewis) and Andy's dad Ben (Luke Evans). Sue Ann has been deeply traumatized by her treatment in high school, which the viewer learns about in flashback scenes.
The last part of the movie definitely qualifies as a horror story, but I wondered why Oscar winner Spencer would want to play this role and maybe it was to get to portray such a different type of character. Allison Janney, another Academy Award winner, has a small role as Sue Ann's grumpy boss. Lewis, an Oscar nominee for her work in "Cape Fear," is good in her role as a busy single mom.
"Ma" builds up tension successfully and features one scene in particular that had many people in the theater screaming. The movie also has more than one surprise in store for viewers.
John Gillispie is a Logan County native and the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.