There’s something fun about a spooky little horror film that hypes up the creep factor and goes straight for the jugular and that’s exactly what Blumhouse’s twisted little gem M3GAN does. And it’s horror that’s very, very fun.
M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll that’s programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by Gemma, a brilliant roboticist, M3GAN can listen, watch and learn as it plays the role of friend and teacher, playmate and protector. When Gemma becomes the unexpected caretaker of her 8-year-old niece, she decides to give the girl an M3GAN prototype, a decision that leads to unimaginable consequences.
When it comes to creepy horror, Blumhouse Productions is the best in the game, and now they’ve got a chilling new sci-fi horror release in M3GAN. And fans of the horror genre will be pleasantly surprised with this smart and effective new film. After a horrific accident, gifted roboticist and programmer Gemma (Allison Williams) becomes the sole guardian of her orphaned 8-year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw), consumed more by work than any maternal instincts, Gemma gifts Cady with M3GAN, an advanced AI android prototype who rapidly becomes her best friend, guardian and protector. But when it becomes clear that M3GAN and Cady are a little too attached, strange occurrences and a stream of ‘accidents’ begin to pile up and they all point back to M3GAN…who has much darker intentions on her mind.
Director Gerard Johnstone and screenwriter Akela Cooper nail down the creep factor in M3GAN and this is a film that will have you on edge. Focusing on suspense and scares over mere gore marks M3GAN as something different in the horror genre, while Johnstone’s effective use of jump scares and the unnatural presence of M3GAN’s hyper-vigilant best friend forever vibes make an impact on the audience. And there are moments on screen that will make you jump out of your seat with fright.
All praise must be lauded on the performance of Amie Donald and Jenna Davis who bring M3GAN to life. As her physical embodiment, Donald is effectively unsettling with her robotic movement and rhythm, and her unnatural presence, gesture and emotional projection make for a particularly spine-chilling presence that leads to a particularly unnerving appearance. Donald’s performance is paired with the sweet yet sinister vocals of Jenna Davis, and this leads to a remarkedly effective villainous presence. M3GAN is one BFF you don’t want to get on the wrong side of, and as the narrative progresses she finds plenty of new and even more wicked ways to get closer to Cady.
M3GAN is a straight-up fun horror-thriller, and its tempo and style remind me of those classic 1980s slasher films that helped to define a new chapter of the horror genre. It’s an incredibly fresh, scary and fun watch and audiences seeking something different in the genre will be impressed. It’s a film that also relies more on shock value and suspense than the straight-up applications of gore, and this makes it that much more interesting as a cinematic experience.
For audiences who are looking for something new in the horror genre, M3GAN makes for a particularly chilling watch, and this cute but sinister antagonist leaves her mark.
Image: Universal Pictures