The First Trailer for Octavia Spencer's Horror Thriller Ma Is an Important PSA for Teens

Octavia Spencer as Ma.
Octavia Spencer as Ma.
Image: Blumhouse

One of the first important life lessons parents teach their children is that, while most adults mean them no harm, there are people in the world who might want to hurt them, and it’s in their best interest not to wander off with strangers lest they end up on the back of a milk carton. Apparently, the hapless teens in Ma, Blumhouse’s new horror film starring Octavia Spencer, didn’t get the memo.


Spencer portrays the film’s titular Ma, a middle-aged woman who becomes friendly with a bunch of local kids who convince her to buy booze for them. While the kids have no business drinking to begin with, they make the highly inadvisable decision to start hanging out in the basement of Ma’s remote home where she invites them to party to their hearts’ content so long as they promise to never go upstairs without her permission and, well, of course that’s exactly what they end up doing. A sensible person could have warned the kids that good things seldom come from interacting with adults who have an unhealthy interest in the lives of children, but common sense is—as always—a rarity.

Before long, Ma’s trying to insinuate herself into the teens’ lives more, and more, which would be bad enough in and of itself even if she weren’t a homicidal maniac.

Ma’s directed by The Help’s Tate Taylor and also stars Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans, Missi Pyle, McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo and Dante Brown. The film’s set to crash into theaters May 31, 2019.

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Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.



From the trailer, film seems to be an interesting play on stereotypes. Who have white people always trusted? The kind and portly black female servant. She takes care of us. Makes us food. Sews our clothes. Makes witty and harmless observations. Think Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Annie in It’s a Wonderful Life, and many other examples. This film turns an age, old and racist stereotype on its head, and for that, Ma appears to be brilliant.