What if the technology fails and turns against us? This is one of the most popular terrors regarding technology, especially with the great advances in technology. Artificial intelligence. M3GAN is a film that works on this topic, although from a point of view of childhood, development, emotions and the power of dolls.
The Gerard Johnstone-directed film takes a premise much like Chucky the Cursed Doll, but with no black magic in between. What’s more, the assassin doll in this film is made, programmed and designed by people, it is purely technology.
Originally, M3GAN it was a movie that was going to take a more gore/slasher path, but they decided to change its entire structure. It is not a scary film, but it knows how to use its subtleties and tools to present a horror and comedy film in equal measure.
- Original title: M3GAN
- Year: 2023
- Release date in Chile: January 5, 2023
- Duration: 102 minutes
- Directed by: Gerard Johnstone (“The New Legends of Monkey«)
- Screenplay: Akela Cooper; james wan
- Producers: Jason Blum; Michael Clear; Greg Gilreath; Adam Hendricks; Mark David Katchur; Couper Samuelson; Judson Scott; Jill Soper; Ryan Turek; James Wan; allison williams
- Music: Anthony Willis
- Photography: Peter McCaffrey; simon rabby
- Editing: Jeff McEvoy
- Actors and Actresses: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis (Voice), Jen Van Epps, Brian Jordan Álvarez, Ronny Chieg, Lori Dungey, Stephane Garneau-Monten
- Genre: Horror, Suspense, Science Fiction
- Producer: Atomic Monster; Blumhouse Productions; Divide/Conquer; Universal Pictures
- Distributor: Universal Pictures; Andes Films
- Version for your Review: Movie theater, original language with subtitles
Cady, a little girl, lives firsthand the death of her parents in a car accident. Suddenly, this girl is left alone facing a situation that she still cannot fully understand.
Due to what happened, her aunt Gemma, a toy designer, becomes her legal guardian and without having any experience with children, she is overwhelmed with her niece’s grief. That’s why she decides to make a robot companion to take over Cady’s emotions, M3GAN.
This self-sufficient doll is equipped with a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so it has the ability to learn. In this way, she becomes best friends with Cady and is willing to do EVERYTHING, to prevent its owner from suffering physically and mentally. Until kill.
What limits will the new doll have? What things is she willing to do so that Cady is not harmed? How will M3GAN thinking develop?
Verdict: Good [4/5]
- The subtlety of its scenes allows for a much better horror experience to be delivered.
- The comic tone of the tape also makes it more enjoyable, which gives it a certain special touch.
- Try to have a story line about the grieving and the importance of having a supporting image with it.
- It’s not scary, but the tension of what the doll can do is very well done.
- The creation of the doll is a great plus, especially when they decided to make it with a real person.
- Its plot is not the most original, having various examples of this type.
- The film is so short that it leaves you wanting more.
Of M3GAN not much to say really. It is a film that knows what it is going to do, knows its pros and cons, and makes the most of them. It is not the typical horror film where the villain will kill a considerable number of people, in fact, he stays a lot in his human aspect.
It is curious to point out the above, because the murderer is literally a robot with high capacities to adapt, learn and grow. But what the film does very well is make the line between what is real and what is artificial unclear, an aspect of the utmost importance for the plot of this production.
Anyway, it is not something really new, since we have seen similar plots in other movies like I robot, with Will Smith, leaving the question: what makes M3GAN special? Interestingly, it is the nature of the robot and his relationship with the minor protagonist, Cady.
As we told you above, the goal of Gemma’s creation is to make a best friend for her grieving niece (and create a cool toy along the way). The fact that she was made with the ability to learn and think for herself is what attracts her so much.
It’s not random, either, that they used a real girl to make the character, since M3GAN has almost no CGI. What you’ve done with the robot is that it makes it uncomfortably realistic physically and coupled with the fact that it’s also emotionally realistic, you have the golden combination.
All tied up in an intelligent way of showing mourning and how we should approach it with third parties, especially when they are minors. Cady’s connection, with her robot best friend of hers, becomes strangely realistic and very close.
Undoubtedly, this topic is well worked on, the importance of having someone in a duel who serves as emotional support. And all the wrong that can go wrong when this support figure is just “Zeros and Ones«, looking for the most practical (or fastest) way to avoid and address the damage.
In any case, don’t be fooled, the film doesn’t propose something truly original in the background, but the way it does it manages to give it weight. Especially when you have to fit everything into a movie of an hour and a half.
As with very few tapes, the short length of the tape works against you. The most adrenaline-filled part and where the film really shines is in the last few laps. And it all ends in a loud way, with a kind of cliffhanger (we will not address the subject to avoid spoilers).
Honestly, I would have liked more time with M3GAN and more development of its features and changes. There are many loose ends left and the real power seems to lean towards the end, when, I feel, it could have made it last longer.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the way the film is presented, really a lot. I’m not a big fan of using blood and carnage to pull off a horror movie, and M3GAN, despite being conceived that way at the beginning, doesn’t need it at all.
The film is not really scary, like jumpscares or gore, but the tension built from its subtleties is unique. If I would have liked to see more clever robot killings, explore that evil side more, with the subtleties it presents.
They know their tools, they know what they want to deliver, and they do it in a really concrete and functional way. It is very entertaining. Seeing the doll going deeper with her actions and thoughts, with looks of anger or annoyance is one of the best feelings this film gives.
It is also mandatory to talk about the comic work of the director and the tape, which is excellent. It is not a satire, it does not parody anything, but it has a lot of room for humor. Either because of the strange responses of the robot, to the irony of its characters.
I think this is one of the few movies that can show its villain dancing when he’s about to kill you, and make it both entertaining and distressing, like art the clown. Yes ok, M3GAN does not have the level of Terrifiermanages to unite the absurd with terror, giving both sensations.
It’s also interesting how all the adult characters (counting Gemma sometimes) are ridiculous characters. I have no doubt that this is done on purpose. Instead of showing maturity, seriousness and knowledge, they often show the opposite, which undoubtedly adds absurdity to the film as a whole.
Definitely, M3GAN is a film that takes horror and science fiction, bringing it to the most humane expression possible. Addressing issues of the utmost importance, such as mourning, emotional support and the humanization of the inanimate.
He presents us with an entertaining film that entertains and turns a rather well-known idea into something interesting. The subtlety of its scenes (including the most tense ones) are perfect for the health of the tape, since it does not need more than these tools to present a great product.
Although it falls short in its duration and does not further explore what could have been more interesting, which is the relationship between human and machine, in the end it is just and necessary to not get bored. An excellent job with his villain and a good proposal.
It may not be the best horror movie of 2023, but it will certainly be one of those movies that could build a following. M3GAN He will not let you suffer any harm, neither physical nor emotional. M3GAN he’s part of the family and he’s here for you.
WE THANK ANDES FILMS FOR THE INVITATION TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS REVIEW.