Ma (NC16)

Starring Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans

Directed by Tate Taylor

Octavia Spencer reunites with her The Help director Tate Taylor on this infuriatingly bland Blumhouse production that can’t decide if it’s a prestige psychological thriller or trashy revenge horror. The Oscar winner is really creepy as Sue Ann, a lonely social misfit who becomes popular with the local youngsters after she helps them to score some booze. Unbeknownst to them, Sue Ann or Ma, as she tells the teens to address her, was classmates with their a-hole parents (Luke Evans, Juliette Lewis, and Missi Pyle) who were behind an unpleasant incident that left her tramuatised. When Sue Ann is finally off her rockers, she decides to take it out on her nemeses’ kids with extreme prejudice. Sue Ann is ready to act on her homicidal impulse but the movie shies away from it, choosing to play it safe and sane in the third act. Imagine Ma as a rollercoaster that’s steadily ascending to the peak, only to stop just before the plunge. Worse, it rolls back. Sorry, Ma, you’re a bit meh. (**1/2)

Photo: UIP

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