From a young age, we’re all taught to avoid talking to strangers as much as possible. You never know whose orbit you might be wandering into, after all. But then we get a little older, older but still young enough to become convinced of our own immortality, so we do reckless things like ask them to buy our liquor. Or agree to hang out with them at their own house. Or, if you’re the group of rowdy teens in the first trailer for Ma, become implicated in a terrifying stalker scenario.
In what could well be a masterstroke, Blumhouse’s latest feature Ma situates Octavia Spencer as one such stranger, a mysterious and solitary woman living in a small town. Initially, the local kids are just happy to have a place to escape, a nondescript basement where they can do anything they want, free from supervision. As long as they don’t go upstairs, anyway. Soon, as “Ma” begins to insinuate herself into the teenagers’ lives, they quickly realize that there’s more to the friendly stranger than meets the eye. It’ll be up to them, and to parents like Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans, to stop Ma from claiming their entire lives for herself.
Spencer’s performances have been so consistently full of humanity that it’ll be a treat to watch her cut loose as a horror antagonist, and Ma also reunites her with director Tate Taylor, who turned The Help into Spencer’s Oscar-winning calling card. (Taylor underwent his own recent transition into darker fare with The Girl on the Train.) Ma will arrive in theaters on May 31st, and you can check out the unsettling first trailer in the meantime.