M3GAN Review: A New Horror Queen Is Born
I've been curious about this Blumhouse film since I saw that James Wan was attached as a writer/producer. I was a fan of 2021's Malignant by James Wan and when I first saw the trailer for M3GAN, it immediately reminded me of his bonkers horror flick. The trailer has been getting a lot of reactions everytime I saw it on the big screen with an audience, the most discernible reaction being laughter (and some jump scares). I had no idea if this was going to be a case of "so bad it's good", actually good or just simply bad. It might actually be a mix of all these 3, but the good news is that I had a lot of fun with the campiness.
Synopsis: "A robotics engineer at a toy company builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own."
M3GAN is a modern update on the classic killer puppet genre, maybe not as crazy & original as I would've hoped but it's a hell of a ride thanks to the impressive creation that is Megan: from the special effects, the costume and the make-up, she's a new horror queen. Right from the beginning, this movie tells you it's here to have some fun with a ridiculous toy commercial that introduces the main corporation (Funki) behind M3GAN. This movie builds on our legitimate fear of artificial intelligence to create some genuinely creepy scenes.
A tragedy happens in the first few minutes that sets the tone for the emotional foundation that they are trying to build and I think that it started pretty strong. If I have one major complaint to bring up is that the third act was a bit of a let down after all the setup that I was enjoying. This film might've benefited from a R-Rating because I felt like I've seen all the big moments in the trailers and there was not a lot of moments of surprises. What makes it work however is that M3GAN is equally despicable and scene-stealing, everytime she shows up you can't take your eyes off the screen.
All that being said, M3GAN delivers on its premise of a highly entertaining January horror flick and might surprise a lot of people who thinks this is going to be complete garbage. The flawed main characters are not exactly likeable from the little girl Cady who goes on her little tantrums and Allison Williams as Gemma who focuses too much on her work, but they make an effort building a decent backstory that elevates this from being a mediocre slasher film. Don't expect a ground-breaking cautionary tale on technology and you might have some fun with M3GAN's evil sense of humour.
I have a feeling the general audience is going to react pretty well to M3GAN because it's not too violent, not too gruesome and it has a sense of fun that some people might be looking for in horror movies. Maybe I was letdown a little bit by the third act and the fact that it feels like they're holding back in some parts, but overall it's a lot better than I thought I'd be. Judging by the early reactions, this might not be the last time we see M3GAN on screen, who knows maybe she will be facing off Chucky one day...
Initial Score: 7/10
M3GAN is being released in theaters on January 6th 2023.