‘M3GAN’ Review- A Satirical Horror Film On Technology

M3GAN is a satirical sci-fi horror film directed by Gerard Johnstone. Akela Cooper wrote the screenplay and developed the story with James Wan who co-produced it with Jason Blum. Blumhouse Productions handled the production with Universal Pictures releasing it.

Cady (Violet McGraw) witnesses the death of her parents and is sent to live with her aunt, the roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams). She and her co-workers are being hounded by their boss David (Ronny Chieng) for a new invention after a rival creates a cheaper rip-off toy they developed. Unable to reach Cady emotionally and deal with the deadline, Gemma sees the girl’s intrigued reaction to a robot in her workshop. She uses this as an inspiration to engineer M3GAN, an android doll that is designed to adapt to Cady and learn more about her. Thanks to an advanced chip, M3GAN soon begins to seemingly become over-protective of Cady. A dog that bit Cady vanishes, a bully gets pushed in front of a car, and M3GAN seems to resist being turned off. Gemma wonders if there is something sinister going on, but seems unable to work it out.

When I first of this film, I was disinterested. The initial teaser trailer did not even impress me. However, the filmmakers, or at least the PR department, engaged in a sort of underground marketing team. They had actors dressed as the doll appearing at well-timed locations so that they would go viral. My day job is working in marketing, so this impressed me enough to make me want to the film. In short, it worked.

As for the film itself, I found it quite intriguing. Sure, it had a few faults such as one or two logic problems and a few scenes that had pacing issues. That being said, I enjoyed it and found it actually had a grasp on the topic at hand. It did not try to wander or overstay its welcome. The chills were real. The ironic jokes got a chuckle. The story definitely pulls you in.

A puppet and child star Amie Donald performed the physical work of M3GAN with Jenna Davis handling the voice. I am glad they did not go the total CGI route as this made the doll even scarier as it moved with organic and lifelike motions. This added a layer of chills that were unexpected.

The rest of the cast also does a good job. Allison Williams does a good job of portraying a woman who was drowned in her work and has no idea how to identify with a child. Her performance made you understand her and what she is going through.

That goes double for Violet McGraw. Child stars can be hit or miss, but Violet definitely delivered a hit. She shows her growing unhealthy attachment to her robot toy very impressively.

Several people have compared this film to the Chucky franchise. It is true, it has a similar premise though it aligns more with the Child’s Play remake than the earlier ones. With Chucky, that was more about the fear of bringing unknown evil into the home. With M3GAN, it is about more about the dangers of having technology parent the child. It is a reminder that technology is an ‘it,’ not a person, and only that personal touch can truly be a parent. I found that the film brought the message home.

Bottom line, it is not surprising that M3GAN made a splash at the box office. It keeps it tight, scary, and brings on the chills.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Violence and Gore, Disturbing images,

FAVORITE QUOTE: I thought we were having a conversation.

Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of The Pale Blue Eye and The Good Nurse. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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