Director: Gerard Johnstone
Cast: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Lori Dungey, Stephane Garneau-Monten
Runtime: 1 hr 42 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence)
Released By: UIP
Opening Day: 5 January 2023
Synopsis: M3GAN is 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 (Get Out ’s Allison Williams), 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 (Violet McGraw, The Hau nting of Hill House) , Gemma’s u nsure and unprepared to be a parent . Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to re solve both problems — a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.
Blumhouse Productions has given us yet another worthy horror number with a story by James Wan who flaunts a track record of giving us quality jump scares and memorable titles of the genre for close to two decades.
Will Chucky and other predecessors dethrone this dolly that comes with a superstar personality in terms of horror elements? Or is it a cult classic featuring the incredibly advanced and life-like killer doll, promising a worthwhile watch?
Violet McGraw, the young alum of The Haunting of Hill House plays Cady, whose aunt (Allison Williams) works at a toy company that specialises in robotics, simulation and analytics and is awarded temporary custody of the nine-year-old. While still in beta stage, Aunt Gemma intuits that M3gan, the Model 3 generation Android will be instrumental in getting Cady cope with the unexpected loss of her parents. With funny bits here and there, it does get serious to a point when the robotic doll that retails for 10 grand decides to be a little too overprotective.
This killing machine certainly exalts the scary doll genre sans the bloodiness with some killer dance moves (quite literally). With an unhurried build-up of the plot, this surprisingly funny film retains the darkness throughout the runtime and can’t quite be defined as a straight horror.
Screaming of a cautionary tale where kids need to use AI with absolute care while not manifesting any creepy ordeals, we all have low-keyed wished for an existence like M3gan at least once in our entire existence and here’s why. Unlike all other forerunners, M3gan is far from being just a vessel of pure evil. She merely goes the extra mile when it comes to protecting the little girl and that includes claiming some problematic lives that fairly give reasons to kill (doggo not included).
The delightfully-choreographed yet random dance sequence that endorses hilarity is unquestionably a highlight of the 102-minute upgrade of scary doll genre. One may also expect sassy one-liner comebacks with M3gan sounding like GlaDos here and there.
And if you had watched Raven’s Home and Chicken Girls, you would recall Jenna Davis who makes an impressive debut as the voice of M3gan. Alleviating the creepiness by manifold, M3gan’s official trailer features the hauntingly befitting number, “It’s nice to have a friend” by Taylor Swift.
Hailing as a melange of Orphan, The Bad Seed, Child’s Play and Dolly Dearest, a sequence to M3gan is decidedly hoped for. But it’s best to wait it out. In the meanwhile, get ready to experience the uncanny valley phenomenon with the slice of technology wrapped up in silicone, that comes with an eerie element of fun offering one many reasons to enjoy the behest of kills, chills and laughs.
(She sings, she fights and she kills for you. Relish this audience-pleasing futuristic horror that features a 4-foot tall Barbie in steroids)
Review by Asha Gizelle Mariadas