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"M3GAN" Review: The Fear of Technology Is Real

In a world where technology surprises us more and more, this film shows us the most sinister side that many do not want to see. Here is our review of "M3GAN".

Still from the movie 'M3GAN'

Photo: YT-Universal Pictures

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Leer en español: Reseña de "M3GAN": el miedo a la tecnología es real

At the end of the eighties, horror movies presented the story of one of the most famous murderous dolls in the film industry: Chucky. Although the premise that a toy kills a person sounds ridiculous, the truth is that this subgenre has managed to evolve over time. How to adapt it to the present? With artificial intelligence. That's where the essence of "M3GAN" comes from.

A possessed doll is now a thing of the past, in fact, it stopped being as terrifying as many professed. Modern technology continues to make its way into our lives to the point of being in every corner, and that fact can really generate unimaginable terror. And it is that this fear of technology, of artificial intelligence, of everything escaping from human control, has become one of the main pillars of horror cinema.

The plot of "M3GAN" introduces us to Gemma, designer of a realistic doll, with artificial intelligence, whose purpose is to help parents raise their children. Unexpectedly, Gemma becomes the legal guardian of her orphaned 9-year-old niece, Cady, so she decides to test her M3GAN prototype with her so that they both create a bond of friendship. However, the consequences of relying on this type of technology will be unimaginable.

The film directed by Gerard Johnstone and produced by James Wan managed to dethrone the sequel to "Avatar" from first place on the billboards in the United States. It grossed a total of $30.2 million on its opening weekend. Its budget was barely 12 million dollars, and it featured Allison Williams and Violet McGraw as its main stars. Until now, specialized critics consider it the first great horror movie phenomenon of 2023. Is it really worth it?

Read also: “A Strange World” Review: A Well-Intentioned Film that Falls Short

"M3GAN": As Realistic as It Is Sinister

Firstly, we must point out that no horror fan will be surprised by this film. From the first glimpses of its trailer, we all imagined the path that "M3GAN" would follow, a robot doll that creates a strong and obsessive bond with its owner. But don't be fooled by that protective instinct, because despite the fact that the whole concept seems predictable, the truth is that its excellent execution makes the story justify itself.

Here we are introduced to Gemma as a robotics genius, capable of building a product as sophisticated as M3GAN. However, due to things in life, he has to take care of his orphaned niece and that makes it difficult for him to interact with her. The quickest solution is to link the robot with the girl and, in this way, that everyone "wins". Hence, we like and understand both Gemma and Cady.

Little by little the plot develops as many of us expect, and that means that this sinister atmosphere is increasing every time. Of course, the criticism of technology and the ease that we give it to be part of our day to day becomes very evident, not to mention the nods to parenting at this time. In fact, the idea that children are growing up immersed in that world is overshadowed when it is the adult who is much more “connected”.

All those themes balance perfectly on "M3GAN". The story attracts, scares and is funny, but in the end it doesn't do anything else. Perhaps it is due in that sense, since many expect something new to be said about the relation we currently have with technology. Even its conclusion comes to feel insincere, although it is still fun for its action scenes.

As for the villain, everything is magnificent. Undoubtedly, she is the soul of this film and has a unique, intriguing and even disturbing charisma, as she always gives the feeling that she is up to something. Her perfect doll face with big eyes manages to generate restlessness and revulsion to the point of not avoiding looking at her. Amie Donald is the girl behind the mask of M3GAN, whose bodily performance with her dance steps has become a trend on all social networks.

In short, "M3GAN" is the first big movie phenomenon in 2023 and no one can deny it. Although the plot is very common and some scenes do not make sense, the final result makes it worth watching. Can a horror movie be that much fun? Totally, and this is a test. M3GAN has so much potential that it could become the next horror movie icon.