“Welcome to Ma’s” would typically sound like a nice, simple welcome. That is, of course, unless it’s coming out of Octavia Spencer’s mouth in the revenge horror movie Ma. That’s because Spencer’s character Sue Ann or “Ma” is a disturbed woman who infiltrates a group of teenagers. At first everything seems friendly, but that lightheartedness doesn’t last for long, and soon, Sue Ann is running over people with her car and sewing a girl’s mouth shut(!).
If that description didn't do it, the Ma trailer and Spencer’s portrayal will chill you to your core. The role shows off Spencer’s incredible acting skills and range considering she usually plays loving, kind characters like those in Hidden Figures and the gone-too-soon Fox series, Red Band Society. It's also a huge step forward in the horror genre. In an interview with Variety, Spencer spoke about her decision to make Ma: “Lupita Nyong’o had a film debut at Sundance [the upcoming thriller Little Monsters], but before that and before Ma, these types of roles haven’t really been available to women of color. And I think it’s about time that changes.” She continued, “Any young actress, should she want to star in a romantic comedy that should be available to her, if she wants to star in a horror film, that should be available to her. So, it’s exciting to play something outside of the three archetypes that people like to see me in.”
While she bursts through that glass ceiling, Spencer is joined by a few well-known Hollywood actors and a couple of newcomers. She's certainly got the cast of Ma fearing for their lives throughout this flick.