May 19, 2024

M3GAN: artificial horror

On Jan. 6, the horror-science fiction film, “M3GAN” was released to theaters. 

Directed by Gerald Joshstone, “M3GAN” follows Gemma (Alison Williams) as she builds a robot helper called M3GAN (Amie Donald on-screen acting and Jenna Davis voice acting) to care for her niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), after the loss of her parents in a car accident. 

The film is Johnstone’s second big feature film release after “Housebound” in 2014. Without much experience with feature-length films, many were skeptical of the quality of the film coupled with the trailer release. 

In my opinion, it did not do a great job of enticing people. Despite the lackluster trailer, “M3GAN” is worth watching.

One thing that stood out, strangely enough, was the humor. This movie is really funny and the jokes always catch you off guard. They are placed perfectly so as to not take away from other more serious scenes and most of them are pretty clever.

Another thing that surprised me was McGraw’s performance. Shockingly, the child acting was actually really good. She was able to portray a grieving child surprisingly well. Especially since a child actor was in one of the lead roles, my expectations were blown out of the water.

The robot M3GAN was also intentionally very off putting to look at. This is amplified when M3GAN is moving around. Donald did a fantastic job giving the robot what seemed like human movements.

The plot was decent but left me wanting more. It was cool in concept but I feel they didn’t execute the fear from an artificial intelligence as well as they could have. It is not fair for me to say the writing was bad because it wasn’t and the climax is actually really good.

Another aspect that left something to be desired was M3GAN’s voice acting. Overall, I think Davis did a great job, despite a few lapses along the way.

There were, however, a few things that I didn’t like. 

One thing that stands out right away was the dance that M3GAN does at one point. It is shown in the trailer with different music. Apparently, the scene was not in the original script but rather happened spontaneously. The improvised dance was allowed to remain but it felt out of place compared to the quality of the rest of the film.

Another issue that I had with the film was how durable M3GAN was. To me, it seems like the reason that the writers made M3GAN that strong was so that she could go on a killing spree. It simply does not make sense for her to be able to be built in the way that she is, but I am willing to look past that because of the film’s other merits.

Overall, M3GAN was pretty good and I would recommend it to anyone who likes horror movies. Although, if you are just going because you heard the film was science fiction, you might be disappointed.

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