Mild spoilers ahead.
We’ve had many recognisable faces in horror over the years: Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger, Ghostface, Chucky… Well, Chucky has a new rival, and her name is M3GAN, the latest killer doll to hit our cinema screens.
When genius roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) unexpectedly has to become a guardian to her trouble niece Cady (Violet McGraw) her life is thrown upside down. She’s working a very demanding job that wants a new trend on the shelves whilst juggling a special side project of her own, now she’s got to be a mother figure and she’s not very good at it. Soon she realises that there is one solution to all of her problems, and M3GAN is born.
M3GAN is a pioneering achievement in artificial-intelligence and robotics, she is “paired” to Cady and quickly becomes her best friend. She advises her, she educates her, she loves and cherishes her, and Cady loves and cherishes her in return. However, this is a horror movie, we all know what’s coming! The artificial intelligence gets better, the robot becomes more independent, and in no time at all she is taking her primary objective of “protecting Cady from all forms of physical and emotional harm” a bit too literally.
The thing I liked the most about M3GAN is that it fully embraces the ridiculousness and is not ashamed of being campy, it treads the line between horror and comedy extremely well. There are plenty of moments that will have you laughing, but then it can turn on its axis in an instant and become rather unsettling. Amie Donald is the physical performance for M3GAN whilst Jenna Davis provides the voice, and together they’ve created a character that I believe wholeheartedly will spawn a franchise of her own. The way she moves and talks is close to that of a human, but it falls just short enough so that she’s slightly animalistic and genuinely creepy.
The scariest part about her, however, is that she is believable. In a world where technology continues to thrive and amaze us, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that an invention like M3GAN could soon become a reality. Underneath this fun romp is a message about families of the 21st Century and their over-reliance on technology and the dangers of too much screen-time.
M3GAN is not the kind of movie that is trying to redefine the horror comedy genre. It knows exactly what it is and I believe in this case, that is a positive. Sure, it’s a bit cheesy, the plot is simple and it’s rather cliché, but it’s also a lot of fun and I struggle to see how anyone wouldn’t find this entertaining to a degree. It isn’t going to terrify you, but there are just enough chills and violence to make sure this doesn’t spill over into full-blown comedy territory.
I had a good time, I left the cinema with the conclusion that I would welcome another film with M3GAN and happily watch it. I just have a feeling that if this film makes the desired amount of money, a showdown against a certain red-haired doll is inevitable… It just makes sense.
I give M3GAN a 7/10.
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