M3GAN Movie Review

“M3GAN” is a horror comedy that dives headfirst into its own absurdity and revels in the bizarre. With a screenplay by Akela Cooper, known for her work on the viral hit “Malignant,” this film takes the concept of science gone wrong and combines it with themes of motherhood and the uncanny. 

Directed by Gerard Johnstone, “M3GAN” strikes a careful balance between satire and horror, resulting in an entertaining and hilarious movie experience.

A Darkly Comedic Tale of a Cyborg and a Nine-Year-Old Girl

The movie introduces us to Cady, a nine-year-old girl who tragically loses her parents in a car accident. Gemma, Cady’s aunt and legal guardian, portrayed by Allison Williams, is an inventor working for a high-tech toy company. 

With Gemma being more focused on her career than taking care of Cady, a court-ordered psychiatrist becomes skeptical of her parenting abilities. Enter M3gan, a four-foot-tall cyborg named after her Model 3 Generative ANdroid designation.

M3gan, played by a petite stuntwoman, is a prototype with the ability to memorize infinite amounts of information. As Gemma’s solution to her parenting predicament, M3gan acts as a companion, teacher, and babysitter for Cady.

The concept of having a 24/7 companion for children and a breather for parents is intriguing, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that M3gan’s abilities might not be as harmless as they seem.

Balancing Ridiculousness with Sardonic Satire

“M3gan” cleverly blends horror elements with a comedic touch. The film doesn’t shy away from its own absurdity; in fact, it embraces it wholeheartedly. Cooper’s screenplay infuses the story with pithy one-liners and black comedy, creating a tongue-in-cheek atmosphere that keeps the audience engaged and entertained throughout.

Gerard Johnstone’s nimble direction brings out the best in the uncanny valley aspect of M3gan’s character. The petite stuntwomen portraying M3gan move with odd, jerky gestures, evoking a sense of unease reminiscent of iconic horror moments. The visuals further enhance the campy feel, with “skinned Furby” aesthetics adding to the film’s unique charm.

Exploring Themes of Grief, Creation, and the Uncanny

While “M3gan” primarily entertains with its comedy and horror, it also delves into deeper themes. The film touches on grief and the consequences of creations surpassing their creators. 

Through the lens of the uncanny and the tiny terrors subgenre, “M3gan” explores societal anxieties surrounding motherhood and the boundaries between humans and machines. These themes add depth to the story and give the movie a richer context.

A Few Weak Points and Dangling Threads

As with any film, “M3gan” has its weaknesses. Some plot points feel underdeveloped, leaving a few loose ends by the end of the movie. 

Additionally, the PG-13 rating limits the level of violence and gore that could have potentially added to the film’s impact. A promising sequence of doll-based mayhem is abruptly cut off, hinting at mandated edits to comply with the rating. However, these minor drawbacks don’t significantly detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

The Quintessential M3gan Moment

One standout moment in “M3gan” occurs when Cady and Gemma visit an alternative school. As a teacher approaches Gemma’s car and sees what she thinks are two girls in the back seat, M3gan turns her head stiffly, emitting a whirring sound. 

The teacher’s startled reaction, a mix of fear and nervous laughter, elicits a similar response from the audience. This scene perfectly captures the film’s essence—a satirical take on our conditioned response to the uncanny, making us laugh while questioning our own perceptions.

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“M3GAN” successfully combines horror, comedy, and social commentary in a delightful package. Akela Cooper’s screenplay, Gerard Johnstone’s direction, and the talented cast bring the film’s absurd premise to life with sardonic wit and visual flair. 

While it may have a few minor flaws and loose ends, “M3gan” remains a highly entertaining movie that keeps audiences engaged from start to finish. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of horror comedy and a reminder that sometimes embracing the ridiculous can lead to cinematic triumphs.

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