First Hit: Moderately thrilling at times.
This is a story about someone who was bullied as a high school student and finally having the opportunity to go overboard and get back at what was done to her.
Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) picks up the nickname “Ma” from a bunch of high school kids for whom she buys liquor because they are too young to buy it themselves. “Ma” also offers these kids a place to party and drink the alcohol she obtains for them.
Maggie (Diana Silvers) and her mom Erica (Juliette Lewis) have just moved from San Diego to her mom’s hometown in Ohio. Erica has taken a job as a cocktail waitress while training to be a card dealer at a casino.
Attending high school on her first day, Maggie meets up with Haley (McKaley Miller) who convinces her to join her and a few friends for a drinking party just outside of town. One of Haley’s friends and someone who smiled and said “hi” to Maggie is Andy (Cory Fogelmanis). Maggie joins them on this adventure, especially because Andy will be there.
Standing outside the liquor store, Maggie gets Sue Ann to buy some liquor. Sue Ann convinces the kids to follow her to her house where they can party, and she can keep tabs on them.
The word spreads around school that “Ma” will not only get them booze but let the kids drink and have fun in her basement. But there is something suspicious about “Ma” and Maggie suspects there is an underlying current of weirdness.
We learn that “Ma” went to school with Maggie’s mom and Andy’s dad Ben (Luke Evans) because the story cuts back and forth through time showing these adults as kids in high school and the mean trick they played on Sue Ann.
It is in this context that Sue Ann decides she’s going to get revenge on the people that embarrassed and humiliated her. She does this through their kids, the ones coming to her house to party.
Secrets are revealed, and the and the sick pain “Ma” feels about what was done to her expresses itself in several horrific scenes.
Spencer is rather good as the kind veterinarian assistant and the off the charts psychotic revenge focused woman in her hometown. She did a great job of changing her look as needed. Lewis is always interesting to watch on screen. She always makes me think she’s just hanging out on edge. Silvers is excellent as the somewhat shy, yet intelligent young girl. Miller is keen as the friend who creates excitement around herself. Fogelmanis is very good as the young man who cares about Maggie. Evans is terrific as the man who is the primary subject of Ma’s vengeance. Scotty Landes wrote this script that attempts to tell the darkest side of what happens to people who are bullied. Tate Taylor got strong performances from the young cast and Spencer.
Overall: It was fun to watch Spencer change her expressions from light-hearted and helpful to dark and revengeful.