MA

"Ulterior Motives"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

MA is a horror movie about a woman who sees the opportunity to take revenge on people who mistreated her in high school when she begins to invite teenagers to party at her house. MA has illogical plot points, as well as an extremely high amount of immoral content, making it unacceptable viewing for media-wise viewers.

Review:

MA begins as Maggie and her mother Erica, played by Juliette Lewis, have just moved back to the town where Erica grew up, now that she is divorced. New to the school, Maggie doesn’t seem to have a problem adapting, as she gets invited to a party on her first day. However, the party gets canceled so the teenagers decide to just get some alcohol and drive around the town. They are hanging out outside of a store trying to get an adult to buy alcohol for them, when Sue Ann happens along. She agrees to get everything for them, but then later, she is seen calling one of the teenager’s dad informing him of where his son is and what he is doing.

The group is hanging out at an abandoned rock pile when the police show up. They are able to get away without getting into serious trouble, but the next day, they decide that they shouldn’t be hanging out there anymore. Suddenly, Sue Ann appears back in their lives ready to buy them more liquor and offering to let them use her basement so that they have a safe place to illegally drink. Not long after, Sue Ann has a new name, “Ma,” and her basement has quickly transformed into the cool new party scene for everyone in the local high school. However, some of the girls start to notice that some of their jewelry’s disappearing, and they begin to suspect Ma. However, as soon as they decide to not hang out there anymore, Ma begins to blow up their phones with text messages and videos, and even shows up at the high school to figure out why they’re ignoring her.

Ma has to devise a new plan if she wants to stay in the loop. She asks the group to meet her at the rock pile. She tells them she’s found out that she has cancer and the treatment has been making her act strange. She apologizes for her behavior and guilts them into coming over the next weekend. The group feels bad for her, but Maggie is still suspicious of her. Maggie decides she doesn’t want to hang out there anymore and implores her boyfriend to do the same. Soon, it’s revealed that many of the teenagers in the group had parents who went to school with Ma back in high school, and there was a mysterious event involving all of them that’s scarred Sue Ann to this day. The memories of this traumatic event begin to haunt Sue Ann again, and it makes her quickly go down a dark path of revenge.

Although MA is entertaining, the story has many elements that don’t completely make logical sense. This makes it difficult for viewers to be convinced of what’s happening, leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction. Also, the motivation for the main character’s revenge plot isn’t quite there, with no previous history or evidence of capability for the violence that ensues. The other characters are written to make very poor decisions that entangle them into the crazy situation they find themselves. The cast does a great job, and Octavia Spencer is quite haunting as “Ma,” but regrettably, the lack of logic in the storyline makes it hard to get on board completely with the story and the characters.

MA follows a primarily pagan worldview with revenge being the driving motivation in the storyline, no moral compass for guidance, and little punishment for wrongdoing. Although what happens to Sue Ann’s character in the movie is not right by any means, the way she goes about taking revenge is also wrong, making everything worse than it was before. Besides this, MA has an extremely high amount of foul language, sexual content and violence, with cringe worthy bloody scenes. There’s nothing redemptive in the story or in any of the characters. In this case, MOVIEGUIDE® advises moviegoers to forget about visiting MA.

Content:

(PaPaPa, Ho, LLL, VVV, SSS, NN, AAA, DD, MMM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Dominantly pagan worldview where the story centers around a woman’s quest for revenge on the people who mistreated her in high school as well as people who are rude to her currently and goes to extreme measures to get back at them, with minor homosexual elements as a teenage girl who’s clearly intoxicated kisses her female friend on the mouth telling her how beautiful she is

Foul Language:
More than 100 obscenities (including almost 50 uses of the “f” word), 11 strong profanities involving “Jesus, name calling and crude words to describe genitalia, and a few examples of the middle finger

Violence:
Extremely high amount of very strong and strong violence, especially toward the end of the movie as a woman begins to take violent revenge on all of the characters, such as woman holds a gun up to a young teenager instructing him to take his clothes off, woman intentionally hits another woman with her car showing a good amount of blood as she hits the road, a woman is shown mutilated and put inside of a dog cage after being murdered, multiple scenes where characters are stabbed with syringes in order to knock them out, man is tied to a bed and is threatened that his genitals will be cut off, a man’s wrist is sliced open to leave him to bleed to death and is shown later with a heavy amount of blood covering him and the bed, teenage boy is burnt on his stomach with a hot iron while he is passed out, teenage girl is hit over the head with the same iron leaving her unconscious, very gruesome and disturbing scene where a teenage girl has her mouth stitched shut, woman stabs a teenage boy in the stomach with a large knife, woman shoots a police officer multiple times before dragging him away and leaving a large trail of blood, teenage girl is hung from the neck on a banister by a dog collar and leash, woman is hit in the head with a cast iron skillet knocking her out, and woman is stabbed with a large knife

Sex:
Strong sexual content includes many comments regarding oral sex and characters preferences toward genitals, man is shown in the front seat of a car to be revealed that he’s receiving oral sex, many comments such as “she wants to bang him,” teenage girl tells her friends her boyfriend gave her a bracelet because she finally allowed him to perform oral sex on her, a teenage boy refers to a woman that his dad is sleeping with as his “f” buddy, in a flashback a teenage girl in high school is teaching another girl how to perform oral sex well on a guy, one scene where a teenage girl is giving oral sex to a guy inside of a dark closet so it’s not shown, but the sound makes it quite clear what’s happening

Nudity:
Older woman forces a teenage boy to take off all of his clothes at gunpoint showing full rear male nudity as well as frontal, male teenager covers his genitals with his hands, girl is shown in her underwear as she gets out of bed, woman threatens to cut off a man’s genitals as she holds a knife close to it

Alcohol Use:
Heavy alcohol use throughout the movie as an older woman continuously buys alcohol for underage teenagers, with many examples of drunkenness and underage drinking

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking and strong drug use include the teenage characters are shown multiple times throughout smoking vape pens as well as marijuana, and an older woman drugs teenagers by putting different substances in the drinks, woman uses horse tranquilizer that she steals from her job at a vet clinic;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Extremely high amount of miscellaneous content, many examples of dysfunctional family as a young girl disobeys and disrespects her mother even giving her the middle finger at one time, it’s mentioned with a few of the teenage characters that their parents are divorced, many examples of stealing and lying, the entire storyline is based on revenge, and a strong example of a bad role model as the woman is encouraging negative behavior for all the teenagers who hang out at her house.

In Brief:

MA takes place in a town where most people who went to high school there, stay there. When some of the teens there need a place to illegally drink after getting caught by the police, Sue Ann offers the basement of her house to them as a party safe haven. Thrilled to have a place to let loose, the teenagers quickly turn Ma’s house into a huge party scene for high schoolers. However, when teenager Maggie starts to suspect that “Ma” has ulterior motives, things begin to take a dark turn for the worse.

MA has the typical scares and jumps as any other horror movie, but lacks the depth in story in order to make it a great movie. MA is entertaining, but it has many elements that are very illogical, making it difficult for viewers to completely be immersed in this tale. Besides this, MA contains an extremely high amount of questionable content, with abundant obscenities and profanities, as well as an inordinate amount of blood, violence and lewd references. In this case, MOVIEGUIDE® advises moviegoers to forget about visiting MA.

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