Octavia Spencer is the award-winning actress who played the role of Minny, the black maid in "The Help." Her new role as Ma couldn’t be any more different, but it has everyone psyched. (Illustration by Jaila Desper, University of Maryland, College Park)

Although nearly everyone loves a good scary movie, finding a great one can be tough. Luckily, many people are already familiar with the widely successful horror films “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge” and “Insidious,” as well as newer releases like “Happy Death Day,” “Get Out” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

If you’re like me and always secretly felt that these movies were strangely similar in production, don’t worry, you weren’t wrong; each of these great horror titles was produced by Blumhouse Productions. So, if you liked any of the films I just mentioned, you’re in luck: the production company has concocted yet another intriguing concept, although this time, it stars an unlikely cast member: Octavia Spencer.

Spencer has a number of movie titles under her belt, but she is most well-known for her role in the 2011 film “The Help,” which was directed by Tate Taylor. In the movie, she played a black maid who suffered at the hands of inequality during the civil rights movement. The film gave Spencer her first Academy Award for best supporting actress, cementing her name among the greats.

Spencer, in addition to working with director Tate Taylor on “The Help,” also worked with the 49-year-old on “Get on Up”; “Ma,” however, will be her first time in the leading role while working with Taylor. The trailer for the new film was officially released on Feb. 13, and it basically broke Twitter because it had a lot of people rooting for Spencer.

The trailer begins with Diana Silvers, another Blumhouse name, as Maggie, waking up and leaving her house. Her mother follows her out to the porch where a group of friends are waiting for her in a white van with a couch inside of it — as if this wasn’t already a sketchy situation. T

he bored friends end up at a convenience store, where Maggie is pleading an of-age adult to buy booze for her and her friends. Spencer’s character, Ma, initially refuses, denying the money wad in Maggie’s hands. After further nagging, Ma exits the store with a plethora of alcoholic drinks (don’t try this at home).

Ma, who seems energized by the illicit exchange, then pivots to full-on criminality; she asks the group if they “wanna party like rock stars,” to which the teens respond favorably, so the white van follows Ma back to her home.

Once they arrive, it is suddenly suspiciously dark outside, and you overhear one character expressing his hesitation about the situation, saying “We don’t even know her.” His friends dismiss him, and Ma leads them to her house through a dark, creepy yard.

Once in the house, Ma leads them to her basement, which is cluttered with knickknacks, and she lets the kids know that they can do whatever they want down here. Before the teens can begin their nonstop bacchanalia, however, she gives one caveat: no going upstairs.

Revelry ensues, and the trailer cuts to the next morning, where the friends are hanging out in a parking lot outside of their school. Their phones buzz simultaneously, as they’ve each received the same text message from Ma, inviting them back to hang again. The group then wonders aloud how Ma got their phone numbers, but they ignore the red flags and return to her basement, which has now graduated into the go-to party spot for all of their friends.

As the music shifts in tone, Ma slowly begins showing her truly insane colors. The parties become larger and more out of hand, with more and more alcohol-thirsty teenagers. Ma’s behavior becomes concerning, and parents begin to express concern as to why a middle-aged woman is hanging with the children. Still, the high schoolers flock to Ma’s basement night after night. From there, things only get worse.

The trailer ends with Ma sitting on the couch with her “friends,” all of whom seem to be sleeping. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” Ma says to nobody.

If you are psyched to see Spencer in a role that is beyond what viewers are used to for her style, be sure to catch “Ma” in theaters on May 31.


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