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#CrunchTest Movie Review: Will You Be Able to Get Home Safe from Ma's?

Curated by Meagan Tan. |


Disclaimer: There could be spoilers in this review.


Ma, played by Octavia Spencer, is a veterinarian by day and your potentially psycho ‘mother’ by night. The storyline focuses on a new chick in town, Maggie (Diana Silvers) who moved to Ohio, quickly being able to make friends with the “cool kids” at school. They encountered Sue-Ann aka ‘Ma’ during their first hang out together as she willingly obliges to buy them alcohol. What appeared to be even more cooler to them was when ‘Ma’ invited them over to her place. Eventually giving them an all-access pass to her basement to party their nights away. And this is when the movie unfolds into a thriller.


Watch the trailer of ‘Ma’ here:



We invited a few of our Movie Buff community to join us for the screening and here’s what they have to say!


Rating: 2.8/5

What Amirul Thinks:

1. Overall, what did you think of the plot of this movie?

The plot feels like it’s lifted straight off from something you’ve seen before on Cinemax. It’s nothing original, very predictable and you can see the plot turns from a mile away. That’s all fine and dandy but the biggest letdown was that there weren’t many thrilling moments as I expected despite the film being labelled as a thriller.


2. As a thriller, how would you think this movie lived up to your expectations?

Sadly disappointed to be honest. When the movie was announced with academy award winner Octavia Spencer starring in it, there was so much potential for Blumhouse Productions to turn it into the next great psycho thriller. Unfortunately what we got was a standard generic run of the mill film with the same plot beats you’ve seen from other superior films in the same genre.


Its biggest crime is that it often teases Ma to be one step away from going full on “Patrick Bateman” but what we got in turn was pretty tame at the end.


3. Who was your favourite and least favourite actor? Why?

The cast as a whole (despite being entirely made up of teenagers) was fine but Octavia Spencer as the titular character “Ma” was easily the best actor from the movie. She was utterly convincing as an individual who can turn from the sweet lady you meet on the street to full fledge cuckoo when no one’s around. It’s just too bad that the script didn’t really give her a lot more material to work around with to push her as this generation’s go to psycho. What a missed opportunity!


4. What do you think the movie can do better?

The film would’ve been more effective if it had more “thrills” in it. In the pantheon of great psycho-thrillers, each of them are made memorable due to the insanity and eeriness projected from its villains like Norman Bates was a knife wielding cross-dressing nut killing motel guests (Psycho) and Patrick Bateman was a Wall Street yuppie running around with chainsaws (American Psycho). Ma does not have any memorable scene with its character. At best it alludes to crazy but never goes full-on hardcore, as the film quickly u-turns and plays it safe.


The film’s pacing could’ve been a lot better as well, especially with the first hour as it drags. I love me some character development but it was like being stuck in a constant loop and the insanity that was promised never came to be as we never got to see how crazy crazy could be! – a big cop out for fans of Thrillers.


5. From 1-5, how much would you rate this movie?

Definitely a 2.5 out of 5. It’s a serviceable movie with a few chuckles here and there, but as a thriller, it won’t make you cling to the edge of your seats. You’re better off waiting for it to pop up on Netflix or any streaming platform. Even then, you’ll probably forget about this movie after a week.



What Jean Thinks:


1. Overall, what did you think of the plot of this movie?

Personally, I think that the plot was well-thought out at the beginning of the movie but

became more predictable towards the end. However, I think the movie had more essence

when flashbacks of the past were being revealed because the interlocking stories made me

feel more comprehensible towards the main character. The most interesting and crazy part of

the movie would be the ending, when the gory action emerges and turns the whole plot into a

thrilling movie.


2. As a Thriller, how would you think this movie lived up to your expectations?

I think this movie didn’t really amount to my expectations since the plot was quite

predictable. I expected the movie to have more tension and gripping scenes to keep me on the

edge of my seat.


3. Who was your most favourite and least favourite actor? Why?

My favourite character would be Octavia Spencer that played the role of Sue Ann or Ma

because she managed to sink deep into character and gave her part so much personality. My

least favourite character would be Gianni Paolo as Chaz because I felt like he didn’t perform

his part well and his acting was not as natural in the movie.


4. What do you think the movie can do better?

In my opinion, I think the movie would be more intriguing if there were more plot twists to

the storyline and more electrifying gory scenes. The movie itself felt quite ‘safe’ which

explains the predictableness of the entire movie.


5. From 1-5, how much would you rate this movie?

I would rate it at a 3 out of 5 because of the somewhat relatable storyline that expressed the

need to seek vengeance due to mistreatment in the past. However, I think there is still room

for improvement in this movie.



What Waridi Thinks:


1. Overall, What did you think of the plot of this movie?

Overall, I think the movie has a predictable plot. From the start towards the end of the movie, you could probably tell what is going to happen next and why this all happened at the first place. Once most of the "why's" were revealed when "Ma" had her flashbacks, the element of surprise to capture the viewer's curiosity probably disappeared as well.


2. As a thriller, how would you think this movie lived up to your expectations?

It's a so-so thriller for me but it’s also hard to not like "Ma". Even when it’s failing to live up to its full-potential, "Ma" still manages to deliver a wild ride and a fun time, even if it’s not exactly the trip you were expecting to take. For me, Blumhouse’s newest project fails to live up to their usual standards even though there is committed performance from Octavia Spencer, making "Ma" falling short of reaching its potential.


3. Who was your most favourite and least favourite actor? Why?

My favourite actor will undoubtedly be Octavia Spencer (Sue Ann/Ma) because of her acting. Transforming from a lonely vet assistant to a complete villain, she did a great job. Sue Ann felt like a real person that could actually exist in the hands of the Oscar-winner. I don't really have an actor that I didn't like because the rest of the cast did well, in their own character.


4. What do you think the movie can do better?

"Ma" could have done better if the narrative focused more on Sue Ann instead of Maggie, a decent new kid who was influenced by her schoolmates (the first half of the movie focused more on her). There should be more scenes on how Sue Ann becomes annoyed and goes on with her psycho way. The first hour or so was dreadfully boring but it became more interesting during the third act of the film. I also expected more gore and jump-scare scenes in the film!


5. From 1-5, how much would you rate this movie?

I would give it a 3 out of 5.


Do you like thrillers too? Let us know below which is your favourite!

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