review by Bobby Blakey
When it comes to horror James Wan and Blumhouse have both churned out some of the best in recent years. Now they have teamed up for the film M3GAN starring Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Lori Dungey and Stephane Garneau-Monten. Could this be another great flick to add to their filmography of terror or will it fail to get attached?
M3GAN follows M3GAN, a marvel of artificial intelligence, a life-like doll programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by brilliant toy-company roboticist Gemma, M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to. When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady, Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.
I love a flick that deals with dolls and the trend to incorporate technology just amps up the potential relatable terror in these kinds of films. I was worried with this one that the trailers had given too much away and it wouldn’t manage to deliver much else, but thankfully this was not the case and this film ended up being a blast. Sure there are some frustrating moments and bad decision making, but that seems to be par for the course on these types of films.
The story is simple enough to get you to invest and cleverly set up and
explained using some fun commercial and promotional ads that get you all you need to understand the AI and robots involved here. Even the reasoning behind pairing these two together works and it then opens up the real issues with obsession with technology and how it takes over in ways you don’t always think about. This isn’t a deep film by any means, but it does touch on some important things with our reliance on technology that is scary that it seems.
The cast are good with the young girl being the character I hated the most. Yes she is dealing with trauma and her obsession attachment to M3GAN, but there are moments that I had just had it with that kid. This also speaks to her performance and works for the direction it goes. That being said she is good in the role and does have the most depth and emotional baggage to deal with, but it’s M3GAN that steals the show.
Of course this film wouldn’t work at all if you don’t buy into M3GAN and to my surprise it works really well. A lot of that is thanks to the choice of practical effects and she comes off as both cool and interesting, but also terrifying. The film isn’t a scary movie in the since of jump scares or anything, but it brings some creepy moments and great visuals that make it stand out as a fun film reminiscent of The Good Son meets Child’s Play meets The Terminator in the best way possible.
There are some predictable elements and as mentioned before frustrating decision making at times, but as a whole it worked to be something that is all too familiar, but also original at the same time.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including featurettes and taking you behind bringing this film to life both rated and unrated versions of the film. Grab your copy of M3GAN available now on digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.