Becoming an adult is hard, but it is also good for you. To be able to make your own decisions, and make your own choices in life. Unfortunately, some people have a hard time growing up, for different reasons. It could be that you are stuck with your parents, being too comfortable and letting them fix everything for you. It could also be you had a rough childhood, and could not live the normal teenager life, and suddenly as an adult you want to experience that time you missed. Some might have been bullied through their teenage years, and when their teen years were destroyed by the bullying, they don´t know how to behave as an adult. Let´s bring up the bully subject for a while. This is something we have seen in several horror films, but there is one film who clearly can show you, how awful teenagers can be against other students in the Stephen King based horror film Carrie. Made in 1976, this film tells the story of student Carrie White, who is having a really hard time in school, not having any friends and a very strict religious mother. When the school prom is coming up, the students will pay for what they have done to her. Carrie is a true classic in the bully section of horror films, and a really well made film from director Brian De Palma. Actress Sissy Spacek gave a really strong performance in this film as Carrie, and i think especially young people should see this film to understand what bullying can do to other people. Director Brian De Palma managed to tell a story that will affect you, and even if Carrie is over 40 years old, it is still a true horror classic. What if a former bully victim, now living as an adult, decided to live her teen years again ? It does sound bizarre, but this is something that the horror film Ma brings up. I heard some positive feedback on this film, so decided to check it out on Blu Ray. Is this the horror film that will please horror fans in the cold autumn weather, or is this a film you should skip at all cost ?
Teenager Maggie Thompson ( Diana Silvers ) moves with her mother Erica Thompson ( Juliette Lewis ) to her Ohio hometown after Erica´s husband leaves her. At high school, Maggie becomes friends with Andy Hawkins ( Corey Fogelmanis ), Haley ( McKalley Miller ), Chaz ( Gianni Paolo and Darrell ( Dante Brown ) who invite her to go with them in a van hunting for alcohol. The idea is to find an adult who can buy them what they need. After some failed attempts they run into Sue Ann Ellington ( Octavia Spencer ), also known as Ma. She agree to help the teenagers. Sue Ann is a very lonely woman, who works at a veterinary clinic. When the teenagers get in trouble for drinking on a public location, Ma offers them to party in her basement. The teenagers are thrilled, and this becomes their favourite place. But something is clearly wrong with Sue Ann, as she tries to live out her teen years as an adult. What happened to her in the past ?
One of the first things that comes to my mind is that Ma reminded me a lot of the 2002 psychological thriller One Hour Photo. This is in my opinion the best film from legendary actor Robin Williams ( we all miss him dearly ), as he plays the character Seymore Parrish, who works as a photo technician and become obsessed with a family who are his biggest customers. One Hour Photo is a very interesting look, at a very disturbed lonely man who imagine himself being a family member of a family he does not know. Ma have some similar strings in this film, as she tries to make her past good again by spending time with teenagers to feel cool and wanted, that she never felt as a bully victim. One of the things that makes this film interesting, is that the character of Ma is clearly stuck in her past. If she can´t be happy, no one else should be either. You can tell she is still suffering since her school years, being a bully victim. Let´s get into the characters for a while. Actress Octavia Spencer ( who have done some really good performances in several films, especially in Hidden Figuers ) plays the disturbed character Sue Ann, also known as Ma. She is clearly the biggest strength of this film, when you see that she have no empathy and remorse. Legendary actress Juliette Lewis delivers another strong performance as Erica Thompson, and i am really surprised by young actress Diana Silvers. I have not seen her in the critically acclaimed film Booksmart yet ( i will see this film eventually ), but she gives a great performance as Erica´s daughter Maggie. I just love the performance of English actor Dominic Burgess who plays the character Stu, a casino worker with such a good heart. Ma has a very easy plot, but manage to balance this with strong performances and reach a level of psychological horror that a film like this needs to work. I would not say i see anything original here, but that´s ok. This is a well made horror film, that feels realistic. Director Tate Taylor ( who directed the James Brown biographical film Get On Up ) knows how to construct an effective horror film, without jump scares and go for old school methods instead. If you don´t know what to watch on DVD or Blu Ray this weekend, check Ma out. I guarantee you will be affected how bullying can mess people up.