Ma tape shows its lacks when the focus is not on Spencer, and the culprit is none other than the script.
Generally, in the horror genre there is usually a series of unwritten rules about what the protagonists can or cannot do. For example, if they are in a mysterious house far away in the mountains, surely the rules are that the mobiles have no coverage, the cars suddenly stop working, and there is a help on the way that can, or not, find them and get them out of hell that they are living. Another example would be in frames with supernatural events, there must be a scene of the protagonist trying to convince, without success, another character, of the existence of the supernatural fact (zombies, vampires, ghosts etc.)
In this case, the norms go through to normalize a clearly atypical situation, as it is that an unknown entry in years suddenly becomes fond of teenagers, who weekend after weekend are dedicated to being partying in their basement. The problem is when the script establishes an exaggerated level of tolerance of adolescents, before the suspicious behavior of Sue Ann. Since they are teenagers, it should not automatically imply that they are idiots, said softly.
It is true that there are more characters outside of Ma and teenagers, but most have functional roles that arise from plot needs; like the parents of the teenagers, the town police, or the boss of Sue Ann etc. None of them contribute much to the plot, like Luke in the role of the worried father of one of the teenagers, or Juliette Lewis (The Corporal of fear, Open until dawn), in the role of the worried mother of one of the teenagers. As for the group of friends themselves, they practically have interchangeable personalities, they are all good people with no other intention than to party with their friends over the weekend; Some make some risk of being more different than anothers, but it remains irrelevant.
Leaving aside the rest of the characters, the plot raises certain issues such as redemption, feelings of guilt, the passage of time, friendship or childhood traumas. While it is true that they are interesting, rather than develop, they occur at some point in history, and then not to regain much relevance.
Bulmhouse productions are accustoming the public to a certain trend, tapes where a balance between intrigue, terror and comedy is sought. A formula that is curdling well as it takes one more step to the typical canned horror production. They are usually minorities that have somehow suffered some type of abuse, which are involved in situations with touches of surrealism, presenting antagonists whose points of view are well explained and developed, to the point that the viewer can understand their motivations.
Surely Let Me Out might be the production that has best managed to combine this formula. Happy Death Day, focused the shot more on the comic and intriguing part, leaving the basement of Ma in an intermediate position between the previous two. Well, it knows how to combine the genres of the recent Blumhouse bets, but it doesn't convey the feeling of restlessness as efficiently as Let Me Out does.
Sue Ann's character, her interpretation and narrative development, are the foundations on what the rest of the work is built without becoming so original and interesting. If you have to put some inconvenience to this magnificent character, is that the plot abuses of the flashbacks to tell her past, the first and last being really relevant, because the rest do not contribute at all to what we have already seen.
Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is not up to the great character of Octavia Spencer. A missed opportunity to present a round play, which remains entertaining, and uncovers Blumhouse's letters, as revitalizing the horror genre.