M3GAN (2023) | Review
By Andrew Cardno
Move over Chucky, there’s a new toy in town. M3GAN is the latest creation to come from the mind of visionary horror filmmaker James Wan. Directed by Gerard Johnstone and written by Akela Cooper, the story revolves around a young girl named Cady (Violet McGraw) who, after the death of her parents in a car accident, goes to live with her aunt Jemma (Alison Williams). Jemma works at a robotics company that makes Purrpetual Pets, which are essentially virtual reality Furbies. Facing competition at work due to a cheaper version of Purrpetual Pets entering the toy market, Jemma tries to demonstrate the versatility of the most recent project she and her team have been working on, known as M3GAN (Model 3 Generative Android). Jemma programs M3GAN with two primary objectives: to not let Cady come under any physical or emotional harm. Unbeknownst to Jemma, this sets the stage for some of the most fun plot I’ve seen in a movie in recent memory. M3GAN is as funny as it is scary.
I mean this quite sincerely, as the movie is hilarious one minute while the next will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what M3GAN is going to do next. This seems to be something that the director Gerard Johnstone is aware of, as he states in an interview with the website Collider: ‘It is so rewarding when you sit in a room full of people, and they are laughing and screaming and reacting audibly.’ The humour in this film helps balance the tension that follows some of the film's more unnerving scenes. Viewers watch as M3GAN goes from this wholesome doll, only interested in the genuine safety and development of her newly acquired friend Cady, to an unstoppable killing machine reminiscent of the Terminator. The film's pacing is also perfect, and each second furthers the main characters’ arcs. The jokes all land and there is neither too much horror nor too much comedy, making it a very well-balanced film.
M3GAN takes her place as one of horror’s new emerging icons through how she disposes of the many people that stand in her way. The kills in this film are phenomenal and in a post Halloween Kills world, I’m surprised that anything was able to top Myers kicking a car door into someone and making them shoot themselves with a desert eagle. M3GAN is already standing toe-to-toe with some of horror's biggest icons in terms of creative kills, and I can only hope we someday get to see M3GAN TAKES M4NHATTAN. I would love to watch this killer doll do cartwheels on the big screen for many years to come.
Overall, I would recommend M3GAN to everyone. Go to the cinema with a couple of friends, grab some drinks, and watch a new horror icon be born. Trust me, I do not think you will regret it.
P.S., If you are a fan of the killer doll genre of horror movies, might I recommend the short film Finely by J. Zachary Thurman, which can be found on YouTube. It reminded me very much of M3GAN.