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This 2019 horror film is one of Netflix’s most popular movies now. Here’s why you should watch it

October tends to be the best time of the year to revisit horror movies, and Netflix is no exception. This month, the streamer has added director Tate Taylor’s 2019 horror flick, Ma, which has already become one of the top films on the most popular movies on Netflix.

Ma is not a typical horror story, and the lead character, played by Octavia Spencer, is not some random slasher villain. There’s a method to Ma’s madness, and it makes the film one of the most unique horror movies in years. But if you need more convincing, here are three reasons why you should watch Ma on Netflix.

Octavia Spencer’s terrifying performance

Octavia Spencer in Ma.
Universal Pictures

Octavia Spencer wanted something meatier than the normal characters she had been offered to play, and she got what she wanted in Sue Ann “Ma” Ellington. Spencer gets to play all kinds of sides of Ma throughout the film, including the overeager “friend” of the teenagers that she invites to party in her basement and a more outwardly motherly side as well.

But what makes the film really scary is the way that Spencer shows us that Ma is putting up a front. Her real persona is thirsty for vengeance and truly terrifying. Ma doesn’t have to go too far over the top to reach prime villainy. Spencer simply plays Ma’s actions as if they were the next logical step in her descent into total darkness.

Rooting for Ma

Kyanna Simone Simpson in Ma.
Universal Pictures

Unlike many horror villains, Ma depicts its title character as someone who has truly been wronged by her peers. And some of her plans for vengeance are more easily justified than others. Kyanna Simone Simpson has a brief appearance playing Ma as a high school student as viewers learn just how horribly she was treated and why she holds a grudge in the present.

After discovering what drives Ma, it’s kind of hard not to root for her when she directly goes after the people who hurt her, like Ben Hawkins (Luke Evans) and his girlfriend, Mercedes (Missi Pyle). It’s only when Ma targets the children of her tormentors that she really becomes a horror movie villain.

Ma’s revenge

The cast of Ma.
Universal Pictures

Ma promised viewers that it was a horror movie, and the film delivers in its final act as she takes the group of teenagers that she lured into her house and punishes them for their own sins as well as those of their parents. Jigsaw (the killer from the Saw movies) would be proud, as some of the fates that befall these kids are really brutal.

Even the new girl in town, Maggie Thompson (Diana Silvers), isn’t immune from Ma’s quest for revenge simply because Maggie’s mother, Erica (Juliette Lewis), did nothing to stop Ma’s torment when they were teens. Everyone involved is going to have to pay for what they’ve done, and that’s a key reason why Ma is such an effective horror story.

Watch Ma on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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