Sci-fi film M3GAN is a sensational showpiece


Courtesy of the New York Times

The new generation of killer dolls has arrived through M3GAN.

Blumhouse’s latest horror film, M3GAN is a good-time sense of entertainment and is able to do what it set out to do, though the horror elements are mildly set back due to the PG-13 rating.
The film follows Gemma, played by Allison Williams, who adopts her niece Cady, played by Violet McGraw, after Cady’s parents are killed in a car accident. Gemma is an engineer working at a toy company, and while trying to create the next big toy she ends up creating M3GAN. M3GAN is an artificial intelligence run robot who connects with a person and learns about them, who becomes progressively more sinister throughout the film.

The standout star of the movie is, of course, M3GAN herself. She is brought to life by a combination of CGI, puppetry, human actors, and genuine animatronics. She is voiced by Jenna Davis and, in shots when a child actor is utilized, played by Amie Donald.

The director of the film, Gerard Johnson, has not worked on many projects before M3GAN, and it is clear that his directorial style is still developing. Despite this, the movie looks good and flows well.

Williams’ performance as Gemma is the core of the movie and she is able to convey the emotional aspects well.

As Cady, McGraw develops great chemistry with Williams and is able to portray the demanding emotional aspects of the character very well.

The film is clearly inspired by horror films that came before it. Child’s Play (1988) is a clear inspiration for many aspects of the movie, like the killer doll as well as the dynamic between Cady and Gemma. The film also takes inspiration from many futuristic and sci-fi movies through the use of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Despite the horror influences, M3GAN doesn’t deliver when it comes to scarce. The PG-13 rating clearly limits the film’s ability to frighten the audience. The unrated cut released after the movie hit streaming services includes slightly more violence, however it still lacks any real frightening moments.

The soundtrack of M3GAN works for the film but is not very memorable. However, the inclusion of many popular modern songs makes the film feel firmly placed in the modern era.

As all horror movie franchises go, a sequel has already been announced and is set to release in 2025. Blumhouse has created horror movie franchises in the past like the 2018 reboot of Halloween along with its two sequels, so the future of the M3GAN series could improve on the first film.

Before its release, M3GAN gained traction very fast on social media, especially on Twitter and TikTok due to the movie’s bizarre trailers. After its release, the film has been compared to many other films releasing around the same time, like Disney’s Avatar: The Way of the Water. This has resulted in many ironic posts claiming M3GAN has a higher box-office gross and review scores than the highly anticipated sequel.

Despite its faults, M3GAN is an extremely entertaining ‘camp masterpiece’ with a genuinely emotional core resulting in a great watch.