“Don’t go upstairs.”
The only rule at Ma’s house and what an ominous warning it was. When I saw the preview I knew it was going to be about b.s., but I’m always up for a good scare. Right? It’s so hard to be genuinely terrified, we are the most desensitized era ever, been there, seen that. Gone are the days of The Exorcist, where a spinning green head, the devil and a ton of vomit paralyzed one with fear. Gone are the days where the blurry first hand footage of The Blair Witch Project was enough to send the world in a tizzy, was it real? Are these actors?
Jordan Peele’s psychological thrillers are Hitchcock worthy. Ma coming from the same wheelhouse, Blumhouse Productions, ensured me that it would hold up to the same fear factor. Every horror Peele makes leaves me feeling eerie. I missed Ma in theaters, so I was ecstatic when it became available on HBO GO.
Where do I begin?
Ma is asked by a group of high school kids to buy booze. Around the second time, she invites them to party safely in her basement. As usual nobody listens to the black one, who said we don’t know this woman, we shouldn’t go to her house. This is why black people in scary movies are misrepresented. As a culture we are easily spooked and know when some shit don’t feel right. Out voted, they proceed to follow her through the woods to her home. From hang one sis exhibited off behavior, forcing one of the kids to strip while holding him at gunpoint, after he called her a loser. This was Ma’s way of handling the slight. Still they continue to hang out at her basement, as she displays increasingly erratic behavior.
The scenes in this film become progressively bizarre. Ma becoming angry with the teens for attending high school, rather than party like rockstars with her, sets sinister plans into motion. I mean truly, so strange, I spoke to the screen aloud several times with jaw dropping commentary “what…what is happening?…I’m SO confused.” Never in my life have I been so genuinely perplexed by a film. Even when the motive behind Ma’s actions is revealed, it still doesn’t make sense. Best described by my friend Tanisha as “the script must have been missing some pages.” Accurate. The fact that Octavia Spencer and Allison Janney, Oscar winners, partook in this boggles the mind.
A scary movie it is not, psychological thriller nope, unintentionally one of the best comedies I have ever, EVER seen in my life, accurate. If you want to cry from laughing, Ma is the ticket. Underrated comedy cult classic.