MA is a 2019 horror film produced & directed by Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train, The Help, Get on Up, & Pretty Ugly People) who also has a cameo in the feature. It was written by Scotty Landes (Deadcon, Workaholics, Adam Devine’s House Party, & Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings). The the original draft was written with a white woman in the title role. It was produced by Jason Blum (The Purge franchise, Insidious franchise, Get Out, Split/Glass, Happy Death Day 1/2, Halloween, & Upgrade) & Ryan Turek (Halloween / Halloween Kills / Halloween Ends, Truth or Dare, Happy Death Day 1/2, & Unfriended: Dark Web) for Blumhouse Productions. It was filmed in early 2018. The budget was $5 million & it grossed $60.6 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Teenager Maggie Thompson (played by: Diana Silvers from Glass, Booksmart, & Eve) moves with her mother Erica (played by: Juliette Lewis from Natural Born Killers, From Dusk Till Dawn, Cape Fear, Strange Days, & Kalifornia) to her Ohio hometown after Erica’s husband leaves her. At high school, Maggie befriends Andy Hawkins (played by: Corey Fogelmanis from Girl Meets World & PrankMe), Haley (played by: McKaley Miller from Scream Queens, The Standoff, Hart of Dixie, & The Iceman), Chaz (played by: Gianni Paolo from Power), & Darrell (played by: Dante Brown from Lethal Weapon, Shameless, & Won’t Back Down) who invite her to drink with them. They convince a stranger Sue Ann “MA” Ellington (played by: producer Octavia Spencer from Bad Santa 1/2, Drag Me to Hell, Pulse, Halloween 2, & Snowpiercer) to help them buy alcohol. The next day, Sue Ann invites the teens to drink in her basement & many people from school show up at her house to party, making Sue Ann popular among the students. However, her hospitality starts to annoy the group as she continuously harasses them to engage in various activities with her. Maggie & Haley suspect that she stole jewelry from them during the parties while they were intoxicated so they go to her house to investigate. They are surprised by Genie (played by: Tanyell Waivers from Queen Sugar, Gothic Harvest, & Bayou Caviar), Sue Ann’s daughter from a failed marriage & they barely escape before MA gets home. They find out that she went to school with their parents. They try staying away from the unstable woman but she gives them a sob story about being sick. The group goes to her house for Chaz’s birthday & Maggie rushes later to rescue them. She finds her boyfriend, friends, & classmates drugged. MA has lost her mind & can’t turn back from this disaster. Can these kids be saved from this real life monster or has all the trauma finally caught up to this tortured soul????
MA came out near the same time as Greta so I kinda thought both films looked very familiar after seeing their trailers but I was wrong after seeing both of them in theaters. Yes, both movies feature a crazy older woman dealing with a younger person or a group of them but that’s about it when it comes to comparing them. MA is kinda like a grown up version of Carrie White in a slasher setting, at least towards the 2nd half of this feature when she loses her grip on reality. I honestly thought this was going to be more of a horror comedy but it became much darker than that. Once Sue Ann gets rejected, she turns into a completely different person. That traumatizing past still haunts her & she wants revenge for it. You have never seen Oscar winner Octavia Spencer like this before. Usually, she plays supporting roles but she finally gets the lead here. She goes from sweetheart to psychopath without a blink. She was great in MA & this proves that she can really do anything when it comes to acting. Diana Silvers shines in her first real big role, she goes from innocent to someone who’s willing to change to survive. The talented supporting cast has more than a few familiar faces that includes Juliette Lewis, Oscar winner Allison Janney (Juno, The West Wing, & I, Tonya), Missi Pyle (Director’s Cut, Big Fish, & Dodgeball), & Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6/7, Dracula Untold, & The Alienist) that boosted the overall quality of the production. MA takes a minute to get anywhere but once it picks up, it gets CRAZY! MA is a good villain & she tortures those kids plus others in unique ways. This was better than expected, Blumhouse hit a home run with this one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great on blu ray especially the party scenes & MA’s house. It has 3 different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French (Canada): DTS 5.1, & Spanish: DTS 5.1 on this release. The dialogue is very clean, all the madness is elevated, & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. Both picture & sound are impressive here, get ready to have fun with this!
Let’s discuss the special features from Universal! A little over 2 minute “Alternate Ending”. I really enjoyed it & I actually they made a version with this one. A little over 11 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” that includes Moving In, Brain Food, First Days, Late Bloomer, Mom’s Earrings, Hobo Attack, Sex-Ed Interrupted, Dinner for Louie, Liquor Store Staredown, Fornicating Hooligans, Campus Creeping, & Long Distance Girlfriend. “Creating Sue Ann” is almost 3 minutes. It has interviews with director Tate Taylor, producer Jason Blum, actors Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, & various members of the production. They chat about the lead character. They talk about her motivations. They bring up the changes she makes when she meets these young kids. “Party At Ma’s” is almost 4 minutes. It has interviews with director Tate Taylor, actors Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, McKaley Miller, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown & various members of the production. They chat about their experience on the film. They talk about the cast. They bring up working with the director. A “Theatrical Trailer” for MA. It also has a slipcover, digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!