M3GAN Is a Laugh Out Loud, Chilling Horror Film

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Killer dolls have been popular in the horror genre with films like Chucky, Annabelle, and Puppet Master. Director Gerard Johnstone and his team have brought another doll to life with Blumhouse and Universal Pictures’ M3GAN, a film following a roboticist at a toy company who builds a lifelike AI doll that becomes self-aware. M3GAN is a chilling, fun horror film with a lot of laughs, and you’ll be rooting for this deadly, adorable yet creepy doll.

Gemma (Allison Williams) is a roboticist working at a huge toy company, who decides to build a doll prototype with advanced artificial intelligence. There’s a deadline for a new toy, and to make things more complicated, she decides to care for her niece Cady (Violet McGrew), a young girl who lost her parents in a car accident. To help Cady cope and test out her toy project, Gemma assigns M3GAN as Cady’s companion. That decision bites her in the ass when the doll becomes sentient whose primary objective is to keep Cady safe.

Technology and Humans

At its core, the film is about how being glued to something can have detrimental effects. Gemma is focused on meeting her deadline at the cost of spending time with Cady. Cady is addicted to hanging out with M3GAN all the time. Addiction takes the form of a deadly doll, and it’s very fitting to see how modern technology has taken a hold of people’s daily lives.

Cady (Violet McGraw) in M3GAN. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Allison Williams (Get Out) does a solid job of portraying the protagonist. She has to tackle being distant as a caretaker while also showing the struggles of her actions. Violet McGrew is adorable and seeing her relationship with M3GAN is cute and scary at the same time. Brian Jordan Alverez and Ronny Chieng are fun to watch on the screen as they play off of Williams’ Gemma.

There is some buildup to the relationship between Gemma and Cady in the first act as they try to adjust to each other. Once M3GAN is alive and bonded with Cady, that’s when the fun starts. The doll will stalk, plan, and learn, and she’ll stop anyone who threatens her companion. As a result, there are tense and creepy moments involving M3GAN, but since it’s a PG-13 film, don’t expect anything too gory and gruesome.

What really makes the film a lot of fun is how the doll interacts with humans. M3GAN knows just what words to say and what songs to sing to comfort a young child. Hence the competition between her and Gemma as Cady’s guardian has hilarious and tense results. How can someone compete against a robot who’s able to teach, play and protect at all times?

M3GAN Final Reaction

M3GAN is a hilarious horror film that’s a wonderful way to start the new year at the theaters. It was a joy to watch with comedic and tense moments, and my audience was cheering for the killer doll as she observes, learns and attacks her enemies.

4/5 Atoms

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