Leave it to Blumhouse to find a way to tell a genuinely unnerving story with hardly any big set pieces. The majority of this film takes place within a school, a basement, and in a few different character’s bedrooms. The budget for this film is tiny and it shows, but don’t let that scare you away. It wears its independent approach on its sleeve, and this is one film with a lot of clever bite.
Ma is a rather simple story (from afar) of a group of teens who just want to party. Our main character Maggie is a newly-moved teenage girl who is moving back to her single-mother’s home town. She wants to make friends and is approached on the first day by one of the school’s top bitches. She is fierce and blunt, but this makes her feel better about trying to make a friend and finally being a part of a cool group. The group does the typical teenager thing and stands outside a liquor store asking anyone they can to buy them booze.
After getting shut down by every person they see for a while, they are finally given a chance by an older woman named Sue Ann. She agrees and buys them the drinks before sending them on their way. Shortly after she calls the cops on them and busts their party.
Fast forward to the next week and they find Sue Ann and once again ask for her to buy them some stuff. She does again, but this time says she wants them to meet her at her place so it doesn’t seem as sketchy. Upon arrival of her home, she opens the cellar doors open and invites them all to party there so she knows they are safe. They begin calling her ‘Ma’, and a weird bond is formed. They also here weird noises coming from upstairs…
From here the story begins to grow darker and stranger. Ma begins acting obsessively and out of character. She is extremely impatient to party again, and we are shown through a series of flashbacks what happened during her childhood. It’s an emotional rollercoaster until the end where a huge punch is delivered.
I really enjoyed this film more than I expected to, and even my girlfriend couldn’t stop thinking about it for a few weeks after we had finished it. I’d recommend this simply because it flew under most people’s radars last year.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra