M3GAN Review | A Structurally Generic Horror Film Placed in a Different Setting

The new Blum House movie M3GAN is an AI horror film that never looks unpredictable but feels very engaging because AI-based horror films aren’t there much. With the horror being less visually gory and more focused on the possible future horrors, M3GAN manages to have some novelty in the last quarter of its runtime. With a runtime of 102 minutes that fully invests in the formation of a beta Terminator, M3GAN feels like a watchable film with no wow factor.

Cady is this young girl who lost her parents in a recent car accident. Cady’s aunt Gemma is now her guardian, and she works in a tech company that creates Toys. The story here talks about the events in Cady’s life when Gemma creates a prototype of her dream toy project, M3GAN, an AI-powered life-size doll, to provide company to Cady. How the bonding of the two evolves for the worse is what we are shown in M3GAN.

Artificial Intelligence is in its early stages, and the possibilities, hypotheses, and theories have always fascinated writers to come up with flashy things. But James Wan, who shares the credit for the story of M3GAN, comes up with the idea that approaches the whole scenario from a horror movie perspective. But the screenplay written by Akela Cooper is not getting much information to keep it in that horror zone for too long. It gets into that survival thriller mood very quickly, and it is actually some of the visual elements, like the crazy dance moves performed by Amie Donald, that manage to keep you excited in the content despite almost everything going the way you predicted.

As per BTS, M3GAN is not a CGI creation, and an 11 year named Amie Donald, who has expertise in gymnastics, has performed the part with the use of prosthetic makeup. Animatronics was also used in certain portions. The intimidating feel they have gradually created around the character of M3GAN is commendable. Violet McGraw, as Cady, was convincing as the lonely soul. Allison Williams plays the role of Cady’s aunt Gemma.

Directed by Gerard Johnstone, the effort is to make it a partially humorous horror film, and if you look at the lighting and framing, it isn’t that tight and dark. Even some of the violent killings are shown in a relatively brighter setup. As I already said, tech-oriented relatability keeps us engaged in the content rather than the unpredictable turn of events. In one of the very first moments when an archived toy is introduced to Cady by Gemma, we can easily sense that it is placed in the story for a purpose. The film’s third act is pretty much a low-budget Terminator with a very small duration.

M3GAN manages to be engaging due to a lot of superficial elements. With all the kids nowadays getting glued to screens and parents having to restrict them by using screen time and stuff, horror is more psychological than filmy. With the usual jump scares that still work along with a guessable story, M3GAN is enjoyable but structurally generic.

Final Thoughts

With the usual jump scares that still work along with a guessable story, M3GAN is enjoyable but structurally generic.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.