Today: May 27, 2024

M3GAN

Founded in 2000 Blumhouse Productions has become something of a front runner in the horror genre. A glance over their credits include such recent tent poles as Get Out, Paranormal Activity, Happy Death Day and The Invisible Man to name just some of their hits. So successful have they been in this time that when a new Blumhouse production comes along it’s worth taking.

On the surface M3GAN might look like something you’ve seen before. It might not seem like something hugely original and its pink hewed marketing campaign may have been slightly discerning for some. But it’s all very intentional. The film opens on a cringe-inducing commercial for a new toy that lets kids feed a Furby looking critter via an app before it poops. Cut to a horrific accident in which Cady (Violet McGraw) is left the only surviving member. She’s sent to live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) who just happens to be a genius toy designer. Before long Gemma has created M3GAN (Amie Donald) a robot who soon becomes Cady’s best friend. But M3GAN’s AI is learning fast and soon realises she might be a little smarter than her human overlords.

There is a moment early on in M3GAN in which a prototype M3GAN’s face malfunctions and leaves her with a permanent wry smile etched across her. It perfectly captures the tone of the film. This is not horror that is going to make you quake behind the sofa, it’s horror that might occasionally make you jump but more than that is going to make you chuckle at the worrying irony of it all.

It’s Black Mirror in long-form. Imagine if Paul Verhoeven took his RoboCop satire and applied it to a Child’s Play film. That is M3GAN. And it’s a twisted slice of horror comedy as a result. An essay on the terrifying ways technology first consumes us and then controls us all while giving you that creepy doll come to life vibe. It’s rarely anything you haven’t seen done before but it’s done in such a way as to be firmly tongue-in-cheek and satirical.

Yes, there’s a whole subplot about Gemma being an absent guardian to Cady but frankly when you’ve got a dead-eyed automaton strutting around violently pulling ears off people it all pales into insignificance. That M3GAN comes from writer Akela Cooper, who also wrote the bat-sh*t crazy Malignant you begin to understand that this is intended to make your head spin rather than your brain whir.

A gloriously ridiculous horror that wears its satire firmly on its sleeve, M3GAN is not exactly an upgrade on what you’ve seen before but it’s a lot of fun as a result. 

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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