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Home » Finding Horror, Laughs and Satire in a Young Girl’s Robot Companion: M3GAN

Finding Horror, Laughs and Satire in a Young Girl’s Robot Companion: M3GAN

06 January 2023, Friday
The idea of technology gone awry and killer dolls (from the Talking Tina in 'The Twilight Zone' to Chucky) isn't a novel concept, yet 'M3GAN' still finds a way to craft a clever and funny horror story set only a decade away in the future. The thought of a murderous android companion may be daunting to parents with children attached to their devices, a reminder of how much can change in such a short space of time.

From horror factory Blumhouse and “The Conjuring” James Wan (with story credit also attributed to screenwriter Akela Cooper), comes a new film starring Allison Williams. Williams portrays a seemingly well-intentioned scientist, whose carefully crafted plans take a disastrous turn.

Adding to her horror credentials from “Get Out,” Williams’ Gemma is confronted with the responsibility of caring for her suddenly orphaned nine-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw) - who lost her parents in a car accident. Being a single woman, Gemma has devoted her life to her job, which involves developing robotic products for a toy company, including an amusingly-named product known as Purrpetual Petz - an ideal high-tech pet for a child previously traumatized by burying their beloved furry friend.

Gemma has decided to take on a more ambitious project: creating a human-like android that can form a bond with and learn from its child owner. Knowing that Cady is in need of something special, she gives her the prototype to the Model 3 Generative Android, or M3GAN. This provides Cady with a companion while impressing her demanding boss (Ronny Chieng) with the commercial potential of this technological breakthrough.

M3GAN is a remarkable technology, which despite its few initial flaws, should be generating more attention than it currently is. Those not familiar with the source material, like the original book and films from the 1970s, should take notice of this development in artificial intelligence.

The thrill and joy of M3GAN and Cady’s relationship is short-lived as M3GAN’s protective nature grows more intense, occasionally veering into darkly humorous territory.

Director Gerard Johnstone adeptly builds the tension, slowly leading up to the manifestations of disaster and eerie happenings. The movie is also an insightful meditation on the dangers of using technology as a surrogate caregiver, with Cady's behaviour becoming more and more problematic in the absence of M3GAN.

"M3GAN" skillfully unites an atmosphere of tension and horror with a cautionary message, all within the parameters of a PG-13 rating, in a way that will likely please the audience. Even Gemma’s lack of knowledge about parenting tends to elicit humorous reactions.

Horror has proved to be one of the most successful genres at the box office since the start of the pandemic, and it appears that "M3GAN" is set to keep this trend going. If it does, it won't be the last offering from Blumhouse Productions.

"M3GAN" will open in US cinemas on January 6th and is PG-13 rated.
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