Ma Ending, Explained: Is Sue Ann Dead or Alive?

Helmed by Tate Taylor, ‘Ma,’ a 2019 horror-thriller featuring Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis, McKaley Miller, Cory Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown, Tanyell Waivers, Luke Evans, and more. The plot puts the audience into the shoes of Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), a woman seeking an escape from her isolated life who forms an innocuous bond with a group of teenagers.

Sue Ann generously opens her house’s door, giving the teens free reign to host parties anytime they choose in her basement. Nonetheless, things take a dark turn when Sue Ann becomes obsessed with hanging out with her new pals and comes up with sinister ideas to entice them into her basement. If you’re curious to see what kinds of tactics Sue Ann utilizes to lure her new friends, here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Ma.’ SPOILERS AHEAD! 

Ma Plot Synopsis

Teenager Maggie Thompson (Diana Silvers) is excited and equally terrified to start her new school after moving in with her mother, Erica (Juliette Lewis). Since the first days are always a little goofy, Maggie recognizes that she’s going to be fine. During the class, Maggie befriends Haley (McKaley Miller), and the latter invites her to a house party. While Maggie is grateful for the offer, she regretfully declines, explaining that she has plans to attend a music festival with her mom. However, their plans take an unexpected turn when Erica’s boss asks her to cover a co-worker’s shift, throwing their anticipated music festival outing into disarray.

With no other options, Maggie agrees to join the party with Haley’s friends—Andy (Corey Fogelmanis), Chaz (Gianni Paolo), and Darrell (Dante Brown). Haley explains that their original plan was canceled because Stephanie’s mother didn’t allow her to have friends over. Luckily, they run into Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), who offers to buy them liquor and lets them use her basement for parties as long as they follow her house rules. Even though the basement is nasty and kind of smelly, the group is more than happy to have a place to hang out and get drunk. Sue Ann is a lonely woman working at a local veterinary clinic with practically no friends. She alternates her hours between looking through her computer screen and daydreaming at her clinic. 

During their first stay, Sue Ann pulls out her revolver, aims it at Chaz’s head, and forces him to strip naked after the latter calls her out for not being cool. Luckily, Sue Ann was just pulling his legs, as the gun, in reality, was a prop. The teenagers leave Sue Ann’s house, thanking her for her generosity, and the latter invites them again. Little did the teenagers know that the harmless-looking Sue Ann would soon become their biggest nightmare.

Sue Ann desperately wants Maggie and her friends to hang out in her basement again. Thus, she tries to sweeten the deal by surprising them with a carton full of alcohol. In just a few weeks, Sue Ann’s basement becomes a go-to spot for school kids to party and get wasted. Sue Ann becomes more than a generous host; she offers them free drinks and chips just so she can have people over at her house. Soon, Sue Ann’s popularity soars, earning her the moniker “Ma.”

Maggie and Haley disregard Sue Ann’s only rule and go upstairs to use the toilet. Sue Ann catches Maggie eavesdropping and violently pushes her against the wall, forcing Maggie to leave. Moreover, realizing what she has done, Sue Ann spams Maggie’s phone with a gazillion “Forgive Me” texts. Sue Ann also drives to Maggie’s school and tries luring them to their basement with the promises of a keg of Bud Light and a new ping-pong table. Surprisingly, the group disapprove, explaining they’ve work to do. Heartbroken, Sue Ann tries inviting some college guys over by offering them a carton of beer, but the group bails out on her, calling her a loser. 

Stephanie, one of the girls from Maggie’s school, hosts her birthday in Sue Ann’s basement. The following day, Maggie wakes up at her house, missing an earring and bruises on her knees. Maggie reveals to Andy that she doesn’t want to hang out at Sue’s anymore and even asks him to do the same. Sue Ann, on the other hand, is relentless and keeps sending them creepy videos of herself sitting between a mountain of beers. Realizing it is going too far, Maggie and her friends decide never to set foot in Sue Ann’s house and block her number. Sue Ann buys a new number and begs Maggie and her friends to meet her at Rock Piles one final time. 

The following morning at Rock Piles, Sue Ann lies about suffering from pancreatic cancer, explaining she wants to fill her remaining days with joy and unforgettable moments. Andy, Chaz, and Maggie are convinced by Sue Ann’s account and decide to pay her a visit on Saturday. On the other hand, Haley spots Stephanie’s stolen bracelet on Sue Ann’s arm. Sharing her discovery with Maggie, they both find it odd that Maggie is also missing an earring. Together, they reason that Sue Ann is deliberately getting them wasted to pilfer their jewelry, presumably to fund her lively house gatherings.

To get behind the truth, Haley and Maggie break into Sue Ann’s house, hoping to find their missing valuables. Unfortunately, instead of jewels, Haley and Maggie find Sue Ann’s room littered with pictures of their friends. Maggie also notices that Sue Ann has torn out pages from their yearbook and has pasted herself in pictures with them. Moreover, she also encounters Genie (Tanyell Waivers), Sue Ann’s daughter. The revelation blows Maggie and Haley’s minds as all this time; they believed Sue Ann was a loner and didn’t have anybody. Sue Ann arrives at the house, prompting Maggi and Haley to leave in haste. Later, Maggie meets Andy and tries to convince him that Sue Ann used to be in love with his father, but when she fails to get his attention, she sets her sights on him.  

Ma Ending Explained: Did Maggie & Her Friends Survive the Fire? 

Sue Ann meets Andy’s dad, Ben (Luke Evans), in the bar after the latter invites her for drinks. Ma and Ben have a history together and attended the same school. After school, both Maa and Ben went their own way. Sue Ann took a job in a local clinic, while Ben started his own security company. However, Ben is not here to catch up on old gossip. During their conversation, Ben places a tracking device on the table, revealing that he had installed a tracking device in all his van, including his son Andy’s. He staunchly questions Sue Ann, asking why his son Andy is spending time at her house. Sue Ann is lost for words and begs Ben to do this some other time. Ben leaves the bar, warning Sue Ann to stay away from her son, or he’ll report her to the cops.

The situation takes a grim turn as Sue Ann purposefully runs over her former classmate Mercedes (Missi Pyle). Additionally, she pays a visit to Maggie’s house under the pretext of meeting Erica, during which she secretly extracts blood from Maggie’s dog. Erica attempts to reach out to Sue Ann, but Maggie advises against it, disclosing that she’s been spending time at Sue Ann’s house. Moreover, Sue Ann steals the tracking device from Andy’s car to lure Ben into her house. Therein, she attacks Ben with a syringe and sedates him. A few hours later, Ben wakes up to find himself restrained, with Sue Ann standing beside him with a knife in his hand. But Why?

Years ago, Ben humiliated Sue Ann in front of the entire school so that people could laugh at his pranks. Sue Ann was a promising young student, but Ben’s prank destroyed Ann’s dreams and aspirations. Sue Ann condemns Ben as a vile dog and slits his throat, resulting in his death. With Ben and Mercedes taken care of, Sue Ann sets her sights on Maggie. She lures Maggie to her house by sending her a video of Andy getting wasted at her basement party. Maggie arrives at Sue Ann’s house to pick up Andy, only to find that Sue Ann has drugged everyone. With Maggie inside the house, Sue Ann locks everyone in her house, ensuring they can’t leave. Maggie goes upstairs to check up on Genie and finds Ben’s blood-soaked body in Sue Ann’s room. 

Sue Ann sneaks up behind her and knocks her unconscious. Maggie wakes up in Sue Ann’s basement, chained to the floor. With Maggie awake, Sue Ann begins her torture spree and irons Chaz’s chest with a hot iron. She then moves on to Haley and sews her mouth for being rude. Andy wakes up and tries to save himself by making Sue Ann believe he is in love with her. Sue Ann, however, sees through his facade and stabs him in the chest. After that, Sue Ann poses among Maggie’s injured friends and forces her to snap a picture.

As the final act of her revenge, Sue Ann tries to hang Maggie, but Genie intervenes and knocks her out. Unfortunately, a fire breaks out in the struggle. Maggie and her friends desperately try to escape the scorching basement, only to find that the door is locked from the outside. Fortunately, Erica arrives in the nick of time with her boss and saves Maggie and her friends. Genie tries to escape as well, but Sue Ann stops her. Maggie picks up a nearby knife and stabs Sue Ann in the back, thereafter leading Genie to safety. As the movie draws to a close, we see Sue Ann lying next to Ben’s lifeless body while her house slowly crumbles to dust. 

Is Sue Ann Dead or Alive?

In the conclusion of ‘Ma,’ while the movie doesn’t explicitly reveal Sue Ann’s fate, the final moments strongly suggest her demise. During the intense climax, Sue Ann desperately attempts to prevent Genie from escaping the burning house with Maggie and her friends, intending to cause harm to both herself and Genie. When Maggie stabs Sue Ann and wrests Genie away, Sue Ann retreats to her bedroom. Therein, she shares a poignant moment where she kisses Ben’s cold body and lies beside him. 

This symbolizes that Sue Ann has resigned herself to her fate and is ready to embrace death. Sue Ann’s pursuit of revenge had left her purposeless and broken, especially after her vengeful plans were thwarted. She chooses not to leave the house, signifying her acceptance of the consequences of her actions. The fire that engulfs the house serves as a metaphor for her emotional turmoil and the destructive path she has chosen. While the movie doesn’t explicitly confirm her death, the implication strongly suggests that Sue Ann meets her end inside the burning house, bringing a somber and fitting close to her troubled story.

Why Does Sue Ann Torture Maggi and Her Friends?

In her school days, Sue Ann was betrayed by Ben, a boy she had a huge crush on. Ben, pretending to reciprocate her feelings, led her to believe in a false connection. However, this was all part of a heartless prank plotted by Ben and his friends, intended to humiliate Sue Ann. The betrayal shattered Sue Ann’s spirit and demolished her self-confidence, leaving lasting emotional scars. The prank also affected Sue Ann’s perception of trust and kindness, making it challenging for her to form genuine relationships.

Erica and Mercedes, who were also aware of the prank, chose not to intervene, allowing the hurtful act to play out. Their betrayal exacerbated Sue Ann’s sense of isolation and despair. Years later, things began looking up for Sue Ann when she befriended Maggie, Haley, and Andy. Regrettably, they also distanced themselves from her, just like their parents. Sue Ann, hurt by their betrayal, made the decision to take their lives. 

Why Does Sue Ann Lock up Genie?

The cruel prank staged by Ben and his friends during Sue Ann’s school days left a lasting impact on her. The trauma she experienced significantly warped her perception of kindness and trust, shaping her approach to parenting. Fearing that her daughter Genie could face similar cruelty in a traditional school setting, Sue Ann made the decision to homeschool her. However, her fear and trauma led her down a dark path. In her misguided attempt to protect Genie, she began administering medication that severely affected Genie’s spine and mobility.

Sue Ann fabricated a story about an illness, instilling fear in Genie about attending school and ultimately isolating her from the outside world. Sue Ann’s actions inadvertently robbed Genie of a normal childhood devoid of friends and the opportunity to form connections. Even though Sue Ann’s intentions were rooted in a desire to shield her daughter from harm, her methods were deeply flawed and detrimental to Genie’s well-being.

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