Anchor Staff Writer
M3GAN is the newest horror-movie villain to haunt the big screen. Unlike her ghostly cohorts, M3GAN is a scarily humanoid robot with a taste for blood. Her debut took film fans by storm, but it seems the movie was not quite the blockbuster that we expected.
Allison Williams plays Gemma, a developer for a popular toy company hoping to rival Hasbro and their increasingly popular real-life pets. Using the tools at her disposal, Gemma creates M3GAN: a hyper-realistic doll with an onslaught of features designed to be the only toy a child could ever need. She can sing, dance, play and wield a machete if need be.
M3GAN is proven to be a threat when paired with Gemma’s niece, the young Cady. After recently losing her parents in a car accident, Cady is sent to stay with her Aunt Gemma and quickly learns of Auntie’s most ambitious project. Gemma sees her niece’s arrival as an opportunity to test M3GAN’s capabilities and introduces the two. Cady quickly grows attached to her new toy and M3GAN selects Cady as her primary user. Now autonomous, M3GAN decides that Cady is hers to protect, and without a guilty conscience she sets out to achieve her goal at any cost. Whether this means decapitating an aggressive mutt or pushing a bully into oncoming traffic, M3GAN is determined to ensure Cady’s well-being.
“M3GAN” was certainly unique as Universal Pictures decided to stray from the typical horror-movie creep. The horror of the film comes from the alarming possibility of M3GAN becoming a real-world antagonist. Modern technology coupled with artificial intelligence is a spine-chilling threat to any human, making the concept of “M3GAN” truly frightening.
However, the idea of the movie’s robotic villain was scarier than it proved to be. Upon viewing, the surrounding theater could be heard cackling as M3GAN spontaneously broke out into pop-song “Titanium” by Sia, in a half-hearted attempt to be ominous. The robot’s affinity for music did not stop there, especially as she danced and twirled her way into finding a machete before slaughtering another innocent.
Aside from several failed attempts to reference pop-culture, “M3GAN” could not even graze the promise the movie’s concept made. Plot holes were left gaping as a lowly secretary stole important blueprints from the toy company, presumably hoping to leak them, but to no avail as this side-plot was cast to the wayside halfway through. The question of whether or not Gemma would face charges for letting her creation loose was never posed and Cady was supposedly left in her care after the defeat of her robotic playmate.
Flaws and all, “M3GAN” was an entertaining watch. The audience in the theater, including my friends and I, found ourselves laughing over the film’s attempts at jumpscares and intense moments. Perhaps deeming the film a comedy rather than horror would have provided for a better outcome.