Title – M3GAN (2022)
Director – Gerard Johnstone (Housebound)
Cast – Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, (voice of) Jenna Davis
Plot – Working for a large scale toy company, inventor/engineer Gemma (Williams) brings life like doll M3GAN (Davis) to life to become the new flagship product of her company and support her recently orphaned niece Cady (McGraw) but despite innocent appearances, M3GAN begins to show some alarming and potentially deadly characteristics.
“This is the part where you run”
Review by Eddie on 10/02/2023
Currently at the time of writing hauling in at excess of $150 million at the worldwide box office with a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating in the mid-90’s, not even the most optimistic of pundits would’ve predicted horror masters James Wan and Jason Blum’s newest collaboration M3GAN to be the smashing success it’s ended up being.
Working alongside New Zealand based director Gerard Johnstone for his first feature film since his cult 2014 horror/comedy Housebound dropped, Blum and Wan have managed to make a new age Chucky that has moved off a smart and savvy viral marketing campaign to turn a small-scale $12 million dollar budgeted genre mash-up into a mainstream hit and full congratulations must go to the collaborating duo who upon evidence of the final product have managed to dupe critics and audiences into thinking they have seen a far better film than the one we actually have been gifted.
Undoubtedly far better than it has any right to be, early looks at M3GAN suggested a typically trashy January dumped release that was merely being chucked into cinemas to make a little quick money before disappearing into the streaming abyss, Johnstone’s film does manage to provide some decent laughs (an early commercial a highlight), some unnerving and odd moments courtesy of the Jenna Davis voiced doll with attitude and murderous intent and a committed turn from Get Out and Girls star Allison Williams but overall you sense that this toned down release of Johnstone’s film never commits enough to any of its areas to be considered anything more than mildly amusing.
As the nature of M3GAN the doll starts to show its true colors and the opportunities present themselves to the film in ways you hope it will explore, the film never becomes funny enough to be a successful dark comedy or dark enough to work as a blood splattered horror with a sassy demeanor and you can almost see the film at war within itself as to what it wants to be and what it should turn its attention too, with one suspecting studio executives have overridden all others here to ensure M3GAN was able to be targeted at an audience likely to pay for a trip to the movies and who would see ads for the film on TikTok.
With another M3GAN already greenlit to arrive in cinemas in the coming years, here’s hoping this modern day Chucky can lay hold on what it really wants to be and give us a horror gift worth remembering.
Final Say –
With low expectations M3GAN succeeds at being far more entertaining than one would’ve thought but with an inability to commit to who it is trying to be or who it’s trying to please, this horror hit never soars the way in which you’ve been made to think it does.
2 1/2 pressure washers out of 5
Thanks for the insightful review. My expectations are low so maybe I’ll be surprised, I’m compelled to watch this one either way.
It was far better than I thought, initially when I heard about the film for the first time I had massive fears it would be a real stinker but now I am surprised people have hyped it up so much as its passable but far from memorable.