Octavia Spencer just cemented her spot as the new queen of horror with her campy performance as a party host turned sinister in ‘Ma’.
Though it may be tempting, never ever accept a party invitation from Octavia Spencer. The Oscar nominee reunites with her director from The Help, Tate Taylor, for the delightfully campy teen horror flick Ma, in which she stars as a lonely veterinary assistant who gets a little too close to a group of local teens. Octavia plays Sue Ann, a seemingly friendly woman who offers to help the underage high schoolers buy booze. Even better (or worse)? She’s totally down for them to come party in her basement. Like many a doomed pack of stereotypical protagonists before them, the teens accept the offer of this total stranger to get their drink on. “Ma,” as everyone affectionately calls Sue Ann, has one rule: don’t go upstairs. You’ve seen enough horror movies at this point to likely know what happens next. They go upstairs.
What Maggie (Diana Silvers) and a pal find clues them in that Ma, despite her cool pad and willingness to party on a weeknight with them, has some sinister secrets. Flashbacks show a young Sue Ann (Kyanna Simone Simpson) as an outsider, bullied by her fellow students who are now all adults still living in their hometown. Soon, we realize that Ma may have an axe to grind with her new friends — her tormenters are their parents. Luke Evans, Missy Pyle, and Juliette Lewis all do incredible work as those unfortunate parents, as do the supporting cast of high schoolers, including McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown, and the aforementioned Diana Silvers.
But this is Octavia’s game. She’s clearly having a blast playing this deranged loner with wild eyes giving off serious Kathy Bates in Misery vibes. As Ma’s psychosis escalates, Octavia throws herself into each absurd act of violence. And yes, things gets ugly and bloody. Ma doesn’t take itself seriously, and it isn’t a masterpiece. But it’s the perfect campy flick to start off a summer right. Just don’t expect to get much sleep after you see it.
MA hits theaters on May 31.