Release Date: 01/06/23 [Cinemas]
Studio: Universal Pictures
"A robotics engineer at a toy company builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
As my first venture to a movie theater in this new year, I have to say, M3GAN delivered. The joy of seeing a packed theater on a Thursday night opening really helped to set the bar high for 2023.
Produced by James Wan & Co, M3GAN was directed by Gerard Johnstone and written by Akela Cooper, the same writer of 2021’s Malignant, which is among my favorite horror films of that year.
IGemma is an engineer working for one of the biggest toy conglomerates when she is left to take care of her 9 year old niece Caidy. Gemma finds it difficult to connect with Caidy, and puts her work above all else, so she decides to introduce Caidy to M3GAN: a hyper-realistic intelligent doll that Gemma has been working on as a passion project at the toy company. Gemma hopes that M3GAN can both keep Caidy occupied, and impress her boss.
The overall story, dialogue, delivery, and execution was extremely tight knit. Within the confines of this tragic tale, is a killer horror comedy that I feel audiences will agree on.
Violet McGraw has been stunning in the horror world the last couple years for her roles in Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep. She is cut throat in this, which makes me excited to see her get more of a lead role like this. Allison Williams is top notch as always, and the perfect casting for Aunt Gemma. I love seeing her in anything she's in. Unlike the animatronics of Child's Play, the M3GAN character was played by two actresses, Amie Mcdonald who did the physical acting, while Jenna Davis did her voice. Together, they knocked it out of the park.
What I like most about this movie is its ability to juggle multiple concepts and maintain several channels of social commentary without becoming convoluted. This movie is a family drama about grappling with grief and lack of communication which leads to a horrific outcome. M3GAN flags an obvious warning to iPad parents, that it’s more important to talk to your kids than let the technology parent them. As the film goes on, it has even more to say.
Not that long ago, the concept of a killer doll come to life was only able to be explained by the occult or supernatural. Chucky and Annabelle are fairy tales. Films from the last 100 years that present human-like robots are science fiction. But the concept of artificial intelligence outsmarting and turning on its human creators has been truly modernized in M3GAN. While we're no longer worried about judgment day at the hands of Skynet, we do live in a world where cloud connected smart devices such as the Amazon Echo type “Elsie” in Gemma's home, are feeding our data to conglomerates. The real life horror isn't a killer cyborg, but the tycoons that profit off of pairing their devices to your life.
Over the past decade, society has learned that using technology as a parenting tool can deprive your kids from a real, tangible experience. Gemma tries to solve the parenting problem by using a cutting edge intelligent doll, but what M3GAN shows us is that no matter how advanced the technology gets, it's still just a facsimile. There's no replacement for the human condition, and trying to resist that fact, might just kill you. And that's what made this scary, at least, for me.
M3GAN is an excellent thriller to kick off your year, and it's in theaters now. Hop to it!