Ma’s Ending Defined

The psychological horror movie Ma examines how previous trauma informs grownup selections. An outcast lady struggles to keep up wholesome relationships with folks her personal age, so she befriends highschool college students as an alternative. Directed by Tate Taylor, Ma is grounded by the principle character’s internalized grief and ulterior motives, and supplies a subtextual commentary on race, gender, and teenage film tropes.  

In Ma, Octavia Spencer portrays Sue Ann Ellington, a veterinary technician residing in Ohio. She meets a gaggle of highschool college students and agrees to purchase alcohol for them. The youngsters nickname Sue Ann “Ma” as a result of she permits them to celebration in her basement and units just a few primary guidelines: No swearing, no drunk driving, and no going upstairs. However when Sue Ann turns into overbearing by sending texts and video messages, her younger associates rethink the connection, solely to be lured again by lies and alcohol.

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An indignant guardian confronts Sue Ann about her actions, which kicks off Ma’s violent closing act. Sue Ann organizes a basement celebration, medicine the scholars, and tortures them. She additionally medicine one of many mother and father and then kills him in her room. In Ma’s climax, Sue Ann is stabbed and her house is unintentionally set on fireplace. She retreats upstairs to die alongside her former classmate – however why?

Ma Is Getting Revenge On Her Childhood Bullies

Octavia Spencer as Ma in Ma

Sue Ann pursues a relationship with the scholars as a result of she identifies them as the youngsters of her childhood bullies. Andy (Corey Fogelmanis) drives a safety firm car owned by his father, Ben Hawkins (Luke Evans), Sue Ann’s former crush who publicly humiliated her in highschool. “Ma” confirms the Hawkins familial connection through Fb. She additionally investigates Maggie Thompson (Diana Silvers, Booksmart), a woman who she IDs because the daughter of Erica Thompson (Juliette Lewis), a former classmate who failed to forestall Sue Ann’s bullying. 

Sue Ann’s primary motivations are established from the beginning. Her actions aren’t random however fairly calculated. For the viewers, although, it might be initially unclear why Sue Ann remains to be indignant concerning the previous. As she spends extra time with the youngsters, she acknowledges persona traits which can be linked to her highschool bullying. In Andy, Sue Ann sees the archetypal “Cool Man,” a heartbreaker similar to this father. In Maggie, Sue Ann sees a passive and naive younger lady – similar to her mom, Erica. When Maggie mouths off throughout a celebration and calls Sue Ann a “loser,” she’s rapidly a taught an vital lesson about peer stress. Maggie takes too many photographs and may’t bear in mind what occurred the next morning. For Sue Ann, Andy and Maggie symbolize the dream highschool couple, and so they’re symbolic of what evaded her as a youngster. Most significantly, although, they remind Sue Ann of their mother and father.

In Ma, it’s the facet characters who additional misery Sue Ann. McKaley Miller portrays a loud-mouth scholar title Haley, a woman who later sends a derogatory video message about “Ma.” In Sue Ann’s thoughts, Haley reminds her of a former bully named Mercedes (Missi Pyle), who simply so occurs to be courting Ben. Whereas younger Andy and Maggie remind Sue Ann of the romance she by no means had, Haley and Mercedes remind her of the archetypal imply ladies. As well as, a scholar named Chaz (Gianni Paolo) is symbolic of the highschool jock. Through the first basement celebration, he teases Sue Ann about not being “cool.” She subsequently pulls out a gun and forces him to strip – however then smiles and retains the celebration rolling. 

Associated: Juliette Lewis & Diana Silvers Interview: Ma

Out of the principle group of scholars, a black teenager named Darrell (Dante Brown) informs the viewers about Sue Ann’s self-image as a social outcast. He’s the character that comes up with the nickname “Ma,” and Sue Ann acknowledges his willingness to evolve along with his all-white associates. When Andy has to put in writing a college essay a few slave ship and states that he can’t attend a basement celebration, Darrell make a racially-themed joked that doesn’t go over properly with “Ma.” Every character symbolizes a particular highschool trope for Sue Ann. Because the story progresses, she turns into overwhelmed by these painful reminders and actively decides to pursue a extra aggressive type of revenge. Historical past repeats itself, and Sue Ann turns into a supply of laughter for a brand new era of scholars. That is vital as a result of “Ma” wasn’t merely teased in highschool, she was set as much as be publicly humiliated in entrance of her friends.

Ma Was The Sufferer Of A Horrible Excessive College Prank

Sue Ann’s line of labor is linked to previous bullying. As a veterinary technician, she protects canines and different animals as a result of she was handled like one in highschool. Numerous flashback sequences reveal Sue Ann’s backstory, and clarify her lack of empathy.

The primary flashback sequence reveals a teenage Sue Ann being invited to a celebration at a neighborhood rock pile. One other flashback sequence present her forming a relationship with Ben. Later, Ben requests a romantic assembly in a college closet. The ultimate flashback sequence reveals that Sue Ann gave oral intercourse to boy she thought was Ben, however turned out to be a totally different classmate. Sue Ann was arrange, and her friends chortle wildly as she exits the closet. On a sensible stage, this second explains why Sue Ann instantly determined to analyze Andy Hawkins in Ma’s opening sequence. However on a psychological stage, it suggests an ulterior motive for really pursuing a friendship with the youngsters. Sue Ann might be motivated by curiosity or pure revenge – in all probability a mix of each. In Ma, Sue Ann remains to be clearly indignant about previous bullying, however she additionally desires to belong. This idea drives the primary half of the movie. 

Sue Ann and Ben are reunited on the veterinarian workplace. For the story, the location is related, as Sue Ann views Ben as a canine (one thing that is significantly obvious in the way in which she ultimately kills him). At first, Ben performs good, similar to he did in highschool. He requests a gathering… similar to he did in highschool. Nevertheless, Ben reveals his true nature when he publicly and aggressively confronts Sue Ann about her relationship along with his son, Andy. Ben has a monitoring machine on his safety car, and is aware of that Andy has been to Sue Ann’s residence. This specific second precedes the ultimate flashback sequence. Within the current, Ben dates Mercedes, the “Cool Lady” who helped arrange Sue Ann in highschool. The ultimate act primarily begins with Sue Ann killing Mercedes, as she runs her over with a automobile. 

Extra: McKaley Miller, Gianni Paolo, Corey Fogelmanis & Dante Brown Interview: Ma

Ma’s Large Twist: Sue Ann Has A Daughter


Ma’s massive twist adjustments the movie’s energy dynamics. Early on, the youngsters are informed to not go upstairs. Later, Maggie and Haley attempt to discover a rest room, and so they’re scolded by Sue Ann. The ladies in the end determine to interrupt into Sue Ann’s home after two vital occasions: Ma” reveals she has pancreatic most cancers (a lie), and that’s why she’s been appearing unusual; and the scholars discover that “Ma” has clearly been stealing jewellery. So, they break into Sue Ann’s residence and obtain an enormous shock. A younger lady carrying a masks frightens them. She’s Genie (Tanyell Waivers), Ma’s teenage daughter.

At first, Genie seems to be a threatening character, however she’s revealed to be a soft-spoken lady. Maggie and Haley know Genie because the wheelchair-bound lady from college, so that they’re shocked she will be able to stroll. Ma has been gaslighting Genie – manipulating her daughter into believing a false actuality. This causes Maggie and Haley to change into much more skeptical of Sue Ann, as they really feel unhealthy for Genie and don’t love that she’s being stored at residence.

In Ma’s closing act, Genie returns when Sue Ann organizes one other celebration. First, Ma invitations Ben to her residence and rapidly injects him with diazepam. Sue Ann then kills Ben fairly gruesomely: giving him a switch of canine blood taken from Maggie’s canine, after which slitting his wrists and letting him bleed out. Within the basement, Sue Ann spikes the drinks, and the youngsters are knocked out. In the meantime, a grounded Maggie escapes from residence and finds her unconscious associates and Ben’s physique at Ma’s home. She’s additionally injected and knocked out.

Ma tortures every of the scholars, and the specifics are related to previous bullying and highschool archetypes. The jock, Chaz, is burned with an iron. The loudmouth, Haley, has her lips sewn shut. The conformist black teenager, Dante, receives a splash of white paint throughout his face, with Sue Ann noting that “there’s solely room for certainly one of us” – a meta-joke about teen motion pictures that usually characteristic only one clichéd black character. Finally, Genie saves the day by knocking her mom out with a frying pan (which begins the home fireplace). Whereas Sue Ann is quickly stopped, the kids regain consciousness and are free of the home. When Ma wakes up and tries to tug Genie again into the fireplace along with her, Maggie stabs her and states, “I’m not like my mom. I’m not weak.” This climactic second implies that the movie’s younger youngsters are certainly advanced – not simply mirror photographs of their mother and father.

Associated: Tate Taylor Interview: Ma

Ma Dies With Ben – However Why?


Regardless of Maggie’s finest effort to kill Sue Ann, the character doesn’t instantly die. As an alternative, she grins from a window because the rescued youngsters attempt to course of what simply occurred. Ma’s closing sequence reveals Sue Ann strolling upstairs and mendacity subsequent to Ben, bringing the story full circle.

Sue Ann lastly will get one other non-public second with Ben. As a youngster, she wished romance. As an grownup, she wished respect. In the long run, Sue Ann dies subsequent to the person that causes her a lot ache. She couldn’t have him, however she may be certain that he wouldn’t harm her anymore. The hearth rages on, serving as a visible metaphor for Sue Ann’s inside angst since childhood, and likewise linked to her gaslighting of Genie. It is Ma who fueled this fireplace.

Ma’s ending raises larger questions on race, gender, and unprocessed grief. In the long run, Sue Ann – a black lady – lies subsequent to a white man who confirmed little regret about his previous actions. Ben beforehand labeled Sue Ann as a “loser” throughout their confrontational assembly, suggesting that he did not respect her as a girl or a human being. As youngsters, Ben clearly didn’t contemplate Sue Ann’s emotions as a black lady making an attempt to bond along with her white friends. She was humiliated, and thus made to really feel like she not solely wasn’t ok, however that she did not belong. On a psychological stage, this connects to Sue Ann’s befriending of the younger youngsters. In a way, she was making an attempt to re-live her teenage years. However Sue Ann was in the end reminded of the previous, and the wrath of “Ma” was unleashed.

Ma Is About The Risks Of Revenge & Ills Of The Previous

Octavia Spencer Diana Silvers and McKaley Miller in Ma

Ma explores the consequences of childhood trauma and feelings that haven’t been correctly handled. Within the first half, Sue Ann’s actions underline her questionable decision-making, however it’s clear that she’s merely on the lookout for connections. Sue Ann seems to be a loner who wants just a few associates. 

In actuality, nonetheless, Sue Ann is a mom, and so the daughter revelation units up a bigger story about accountability. One may argue that Sue Ann doesn’t initially plan to bodily harm anyone. However when she’s disrespected by the youngsters of her highschool bullies, an inside fireplace burns as soon as once more, and Ben’s blatant disrespect solely makes issues worse. Sue Ann’s villainous flip aligns with the conclusion that she’s being pressured to evolve with judgmental white folks as soon as once more.

In that sense, Ma is a cautionary story about ills of the previous, and the way some folks, not all, are pushed to the sting after they really feel helpless, betrayed, and misunderstood. If solely somebody had defended Ma throughout her lowest second as a youngster, maybe the downward spiral into violence would by no means have begun.

Subsequent: Octavia Spencer Interview: Ma

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