Octavia Spencer plays the villain in the film, and it is actually a really fascinating roll she has been given to work with. This isn't your average villain. There are levels of complexity here that you don't find in your average thriller. I kept swinging back and forth between being on her side, and hating her more than anything. The flashbacks used to create this conflict are excellently woven into the film, drip fed to the audience bit by bit, so we know just as much information as we need to at any given time.
Around the midway point in the movie things were beginning to stall a little. I wasn't sure if the film had any tricks up its sleeve, so I begin to lose patience. I needn't have worried though, because the final third of the film things kick into gear big time. In fact the film gets shockingly dark. To the extent it really took me off guard. It went to some places I never saw coming, and I loved it. I had a surprisingly good time with 'Ma' and I think most that give it a chance will as well.