Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for the Sandra Oh-starring vehicle horror flick, “Umma.” Naturally, Koreans will immediately recognize how the film shares its title with the familiar Korean term for mother. What’s more, it sees Oh playing the titular role in a horror film that’s lead by a woman of color. So it’s quite a significant film for those looking for more diversity not just in film but in the horror genre as well. Also, it’s written and directed by Iris K. Shim. So that just brings more to the table and increases my interest in this.
The trailer sees Oh’s Amanda living in rural America and running a beekeeping farm alongside her daughter (Fivel Stewart). Though life is good for the both of them, everything gets turned upside down when a strange man disturbs their peace by bringing the remains of Amanda’s mother. There’s clearly some emotional trauma that she thought she left behind because the very thought of Amanda’s mother living with them haunts her. As such, she refuses to make a place for her. As as the guilt and long-buried traumas start to resurface, Amanda finds herself urning into the one thing she fears most, her mother.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for “Umma:”
Umma, which is the Korean word for “mother,” follows Amanda (Sandra Oh) and her daughter (Fivel Stewart) living a quiet life on an American farm, but when the remains of her estranged mother arrive from Korea, Amanda becomes haunted by the fear of turning into her own mother.
It’s great to see Oh flex more of her muscles with roles like these. She’s voiced some terrific maternal figures in the past in films like “Over The Moon,” “Raya and The Last Dragon,” and soon “Turning Red.” So a horror-pic is a nice turn.
Additionally, the film hints at bringing some Korean traditions and infusing it into the genre. This brings an added layer of authencity and culture to horror films.
Dermot Mulroney, MeeWha Alana Lee, Tom Yi, and Odeya Rush also stars.
Sam Raimi and Zainab Azizi are producers.
Sony Pictures has scheduled “Umma” to be released exclusively in theaters on March 18, 2022.