Ma – Blu-ray Review

Ma is a 2019 American psychological horror film that was directed by Tate Taylor and written by Scotty Landes. It stars Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Corey Fogelmanis and Luke Evans, and follows a group of teenagers who befriend a lonely middle-aged woman who allows them to party in her basement, and find themselves being terrorized by her. The film was produced by Jason Blum, through his Blumhouse Productions company, along with Taylor and John Norris.

Ma was released in the United States on May 31, 2019, by Universal Pictures. It has grossed $60.6 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Spencer’s performance, but criticized the teenage characters and said that the film did not take full advantage of its premise.

The Film Itself (4/5):

Ma is a movie that really takes the concept of a moment of time in one’s youth where they’ve been humiliated and pushes it to the absolute, most insane extreme I’ve ever seen.  With its generally eery undertone, and effective presentation of how the impact of making fun of someone can be pretty powerful in their overall development as a person, the movie offered a pretty solid story line and kept both my wife and I on edge as we made our way through the mystery.  There’s a good number of layers with the primary character, and the overall experience had us asking questions (that were obviously answered by the end) from beginning to end.

Picture Quality (4.5/5):

Shot digitally, the Blu-ray release of Ma looked really nice in 1080p, and exactly what we expected with the standard Blu-ray release.  The darker sequences featured a little bit of noise to them, but it didn’t deter from the overall experience, and the overall presentation was crisp, clean and easily understandable without having to wear my glasses.  Colorization of the scenery is stable, and the balance of contrast throughout helped in conveying the overall creepy experience that was set out to be had with this movie.

Audio Quality (4.75/5):

Packaged with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, the Blu-ray release of Ma gives audience members a rich and fulfilling experience; all while being not as immersive as it could have been.  The surround channels really picked up the slack for that, and the experience was intense enough that it offered a great time.  The transitions between the channels were effortless, smooth and added to the experience, while the dialogue was spoken cleanly enough to allow the characters to be heard and understood without any issues.

The Packaging (2.5/5):

The Blu-ray release of Ma comes packaged in the standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case.  In that case, the Blu-ray and DVD copies of the movie, neither disc featuring any artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet as well as a slipcover that’s been made available during the original pressing of the release that features the same artwork that’s made available on the case.

Special Features (2/5):

There are a number of special features included on the Blu-ray release of Ma.  The content that’s included offers some of the thoughts that went through the production crews mind as they worked on the film, as well as some of it including the deleted scenes that didn’t make the final cut.  The content included, while it was nice to venture into, could have been more in depth and offered greater detail in the work that went into the movie, whether it be story writing or experiences shared with the cast and crew members.  Included with this release is:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Moving In
    • Brain Food
    • First Days
    • Late Bloomer
    • Mom’s Earrings
    • Hobo Attack
    • Sex-Ed Interrupted
    • Dinner for Louie
    • Liquor Store Staredown
    • Fornicating Hooligans
    • Campus Creeping
    • Long Distance Girlfriend
  • Creating Sue Ann
  • Party at Ma’s
  • Ma Theatrical Trailer

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French (Canada): DTS 5.1

Spanish: DTS  5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 99 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, Ma was a movie that I went into with no expectations whatsoever, and ended up having a really good time with.  The story isn’t your conventional thriller, and I think that played into the biggest part of us enjoying it.  The visual and audio presentation of the Blu-ray release were handled really well and offered a clean experience.  The special features, while they were fun to visit and offered a small bit of insight into the film, really needed to be more detailed.  If you’re considering this movie for your collection, I’d recommend checking it out first to make sure it’s something that you’re going to enjoy, or pick it up when it’s on sale.  Ma is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.