For all of you who have followed my reviews you know I’m fairly new to the horror genre. I grew up thinking I didn’t like to be scared so I mostly avoided the genre and it is only recently that I have been catching up to try and have a more well-rounded portfolio of reviews. Last year I watched Black Phone, Scream, X and Pearl, Barbarian, and The Menu as well as the original Nightmare on Elm Street for my blind spot series (I have also seen Halloween, the original Scream and The Lost Boys.) I am going to continue this trend and watch more horror this year and the first one up is the killer robot/doll movie M3GAN.
Believe it or not this film by Gerard Johnstone is my first killer doll movie. I’ve never seen a Child’s Play movie or Annabelle or anything else. You can say that makes my opinion less valid because I have nothing to compare it to but it is what it is. Sometimes a fresh perspective can be interesting so perhaps that’s what I can provide?
M3GAN tells the story of little girl and recent orphan Cady (Violet McGraw) who is being raised by her ill-equipped aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) who has designed an interactive doll named M3GAN (Model 3 Generative Android). Cady is paired with M3GAN and Gemma is happy to turn the parenting responsibilities for her damaged niece over to the doll. Of course this creates some attachment problems and since this is a horror movie the doll gets more possessive of Cady by the minute.
First, I will say the viral marketing campaign for M3GAN has been hilarious and brilliant. I think I would have been inclined to see it even if I wasn’t a critic because it was so creative. Also the combination of puppetry, animatronics and motion capture to create the doll is seamless and completely believable. My favorite kind of horror has a dose of comedy and M3GAN gives plenty of humor for the audience. There’s the iconic dance in the trailer but she’s a heroine with lots of sass.
The downsides to the movie is it does take a long time to get going. It’s pretty slow for the first 30 minutes and then it finally gets going. Also without spoilers there is one death to a child that surprised me. I figured, even though he or she is a jerk they would just get hurt and not die. That is surprising! I know a lot of people have complained about the pg13 but as someone new to horror I appreciate there being some entries not as violent for us newbies!
I also thought some of the supporting acting is weak particularly Ronny Chieng as Gemma’s boss. He over-acted whenever he is on screen. Fortunately Williams and McGraw are both good and they are the main characters (along with M3GAN). Aside from being funny, the movie has something to say about parenting and how quick we are to turn those responsibilities over to technology these days.
All in all, I’d say my first killer doll movie was a success. If you are wanting to dive into a fun, silly horror movie give M3GAN a shot. From this newbie I’d say it’s a good time at the cinema.
6 out of 10
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