Max at the movies: M3GAN


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¨M3GAN¨ is the first major release of 2023, releasing only in theaters January 6th.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

Now that 2022 has come to a close, the 2023 movie season has officially begun with the first horror movie of the year “M3GAN” hitting theaters. 

“M3GAN” was directed by Gerard Johnstone, and stars Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Stephane Garneau-Monten, Jenna Davis and Amie Donald. 

The film tells the story of toy company roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) who adopts her recently orphaned 8 year old niece (Violet McGraw). Not knowing how to parent, Gemma creates a doll with artificial intelligence, M3GAN, in hopes to resolve her problems. Little does she know that it’s a decision that will bear unimaginable consequences.

After initially hearing about this film, it sounded like one of those movies that no one would pay attention to, flopping in theaters and eventually disappearing. The fact that it was rated PG-13 and set to release in January were all red flags indicating it wouldn’t be very good. January is typically the dumping ground for bad movies, especially ones in the horror genre. I had such little faith in it that I didn’t even bother to watch the trailers. However, after recently hearing pleasant reviews about the film, I finally watched “M3GAN”, hoping it would in some way subvert my expectations. 

I am pleased to say that this movie was so much better than I ever thought it would be. The film has a simple premise about an A.I. that turns bad, however, it is executed extremely well. The film is self aware about its central concept, embracing both the horror and the comedic aspect of such a plot. To my surprise, the humor in this film worked well and didn’t undercut any dramatic or tense scenes. 

I wouldn’t classify this movie as scary, but it does do a good job of building tension without an over reliance on cheap jump scares or gore to startle the audience. Special effects were definitely a standout in this film. The design of the doll itself was especially unique and the special effects used to control M3GAN’s movements truly left me wondering how they were able to pull it off.

One of the main downsides of this movie was that it felt too familiar. The plot resembled that of the movie “Child’s Play”. The only difference being that  the doll was trying to protect the child instead of going after it. Although this film did a nice job executing the concept of an A.I. gone wrong it’s one that’s been done before time and time again. 

Another aspect of the film that bugged me was the PG-13 rating. For a PG-13 movie, it certainly worked well but there were times throughout the film where it felt like the movie was intended to be rated R, and got converted into a PG-13 film during post production. There are several moments where the camera immediately cuts to a strange angle before a seemingly violent or gory scene. While it didn’t bother me too much, it would have been a lot better had such scenes not been so censored.

Overall, even though “M3GAN” feels a little redundant, it was still a great version of a conventional concept. The film blends tension and comedy without feeling like one out weighs the other. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the horror genre, or even those simply intrigued by the trailers.