Blumhouse has perfected the art of churning out effective low-budget thrillers or horror movies that can always be relied on to do a solid turn at the box office, and Ma is almost the textbook example.
A high concept genre film made with very little money and a capable director and proven star, it ticked all the boxes that helped turn the production house into one of modern Hollywood’s most reliable hit factories. The Help‘s Tate Taylor re-teamed with Octavia Spencer, who he directed to an Academy Award win in their 2011 drama, in the $5 million nail-biter.
The premise revolves around Spencer’s Sue Ann Ellington, a lonely middle-aged woman who lets a group of teenagers use her basement as a place for them to party. Things take an increasingly dark turn as she becomes obsessed with the youngsters, leading to a series of revelations that date back decades and span several generations.
Ma scored decent enough reviews from critics, where it sits on a 56% Rotten Tomatoes score, but almost everyone was in agreement that it would have turned out a lot worse were it not for Spencer bringing her A-game to a distinctly B-tier plot. The movie earned $61 million from theaters in 2019, and it’s now experiencing a new life on Netflix, having come close to cracking the Top 10 most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.