- Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
- Studio: BlumHouse
- Director: Gerard Johnstone
- Where to Watch: In Theaters & Prime Video ($)
Funki Toys has been the market leader in mass-produced, semi-intelligent toys for kids and shows no signs of slowing down until one day, a competitor launches something similar and cheaper. Toy designer Gemma, working in her basement lab at Funki, has created the next evolution in toys and artificial intelligence. Dubbed MEGAN, Gemma’s android is capable of learning and problem-solving but requires a real child to learn from in order to get the personality just right. Gemma’s niece, Cady, has just moved in with her after the death of her parents. Seeking some way to connect with her niece and to give her the care that she is unable to provide, Gemma pairs Cady with MEGAN and they become fast friends. But as MEGAN grows smarter and her mass market launch grows closer, strange and violent things begin to follow the girls wherever they go.
M3GAN does not boast an A-list cast, like some of the contemporary horror thrillers including Scream or the Conjuring series. Leading M3GAN is Allison Williams as Gemma and Violet McGraw as Cady. These two actresses do a decent job of portraying an estranged aunt-niece combination. They certainly fit the narrative with their awkward as hell interactions and emotionless delivery. McGraw does throw a great tantrum about half way through and then finishes the movie off in impressive (although still very predictable style). MEGAN herself is physically played by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis. Together, these two actresses create a demonic character with stiff robotic movements an a voice that’s a cross between HAL-9000 and GLaDOS from Portal. The rest of the cast is made up of similar, low budget names, including one Millen Baird, my favorite Tetris Live host. Good on ya, Millsy. The cast and performances are fine enough and don’t get in the way of the gore and the scares.
Rereading my old Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It post, while making me sick, reminded me that there are worse horror movies out there. A lot of my old complaints return for M3GAN. The main ones’s being that it’s a little too long, the characters are a little too dumb, and it’s a little too safe. While not typically what I enjoy in a horror movie, laughter at the absurdity of it all filled my living room as I sat there watching it and taking notes. Ashley was only half watching and it managed to grab her attention several times when something incredibly moronic was happening. The whole movie is like walking down the hallway at work and passing by a strange conversation. You slow down a little to get the scoop before you’re on your way again.
TikTok dances, James Wan credited but didn’t direct, and a January release. M3GAN had the makings for a PG-13 disaster but somehow managed to climb from the depth of garbage and is currently enjoying A-tier success and notoriety. It’s semi-entertaining, if slightly cringy, and a very predictable story. There are no real surprises in the story, as it plays out pretty much like setting up a row of dominos. You can see the end from the beginning. Which is fine! These movies have their place and that place is usually the dumping ground that is January. Congrats to BM on another totally safe bet with a low budget earning an incredible box office return. Now, take a risk next time and you’ll really impress me.