As soon as we meet Cady, we see that she is like any other tech obsessed 8-year-old in a horror movie. She is on a ski trip with her parents. As soon as we meet the parents, we see they are like most young parents in current horror movies; incapable of making good decisions, bickering and driving head long into some of the oldest clichés in the history of horror cinema. (I mean, who heads to the slopes at night in a whiteout snow storm? Oh, yeah. I remember. Most young parents in horror movies today.)
There is a fatal car accident.
Cady, now orphaned, is sent to live with her toy developer auntie, Gemma. Gemma is obsessed with creating a new toy that will help lazy parents be even lazier. The new toy is M3GAN, which is an acronym for "Model 3 Generative ANdroid," which is just a fancy way of saying "Killer Doll."
Cady is introduced to the M3GAN prototype and they are instant besties. M3GAN is programmed to protect and care for Cady. Gemma can get back to work being the "fun aunt" and not have to worry about the inconvenient responsibilities of raising her niece.
M3GAN takes its job of protecting Cady very, very seriously.
I found M3GAN very entertaining. It succeeded in holding my attention throughout and managed to sneak in a little commentary on lazy parents and society's addiction to tech, as well as taking aim at corporate America. (All low-hanging fruit, sure. But it does bring up the question, should there be a toy that ends all toys? Isn't part of being a kid having a ton of different toys to help expand our brains and stuff?)
Props to Violet McGraw as Cady, who is the most brooding, moody niece I've seen since the last time I saw my own nieces. She captures the modern everykid and I think the success of this film rides on her shoulders. If you don't like Cady, you won't like the flick. I liked her.
Many viewers may be underwhelmed by this entry in the Killer Doll subgenre. I don't know what you expect. It delivers on the premise. Have we seen it done exactly the same way a dozen times before? Sure we have, but M3GAN at least does it singing and dancing.
This film also introduced the first major studio gimmick for a film in 2023. Days before the film's release on January 6, 2023, eight dancing M3GANS made a surprise visit during the halftime show of a Rams vs. Chargers game. It's bizarre. It's creepy. I finally get the thumb wrestling. You can check it out here.
Released as a PG-13 horror, M3GAN enjoyed a worldwide take of just over a hundred and seventy-one million bucks. That's solid enough for a sequel. It is playing Unrated on Peacock and it's got a couple good shock scenes. It is a solid first film for your own Friday or Saturday night Drive-in Divan Double Feature.
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