Horror, like other film genres, has various subgenres. One of the most popular genres in recent years is Horror Comedies. Films like 2020’s Freaky, 2011’s Cabin in the Woods, and 2017’s Happy Death Day have been well received by horror fans.
M3GAN is the latest horror comedy that leans heavy into the comedy – its ¾’s comedy with a splash of murderous android doll on top.
The plot follows Gemma (Allison Williams), a roboticist at a Seattle based toy company who becomes the guardian of her 8-year old niece Cady (Violet McGraw) after her parents tragically die in a car accident. After being inspired by Cady, Gemma finishes her prototype android M3GAN to be a companion for Cady. It’s a win-win for Gemma. She gets to create a new toy for her company and a companion to help her niece deal with grief. For this android to work, it must pair with Cady. As the connection between the two grows, M3GAN’s algorithm not only learns how to be a friend to Cady, M3GAN begins to take extreme measures to protect her.
M3GAN is absurd in the best way possible. Like most evil artificial intelligence movies, M3GAN becoming self-aware means the humans around her are no longer safe. The film does a fantastic job detailing how insane it would be for a 4ft doll to become a murder bot with zero regard for human life.
Between the murders, dancing androids, and laughs, there are a few notable moments when the film discusses how harmful kid’s dependence on technology can be as well as how harmful it can be for parents to let technology spend more time with their kids than they do. Don’t worry, the film makes this point without being preachy and gets right back to M3GAN massacring people.
Akela Cooper’s screenplay does an amazing job showcasing the comedy and absurdity of it all while still highlighting the horror at the appropriate times. It’s notable in M3GAN’s dialogue improving and evolving as she learns more.
Amie Donald is good as M3GAN. Her crazy dance moves, slight head tilts, and stares are incredibly creepy. She has a stare that’s so unsettling. Donald plays M3GAN as much more than a killer doll. She shows her an inquisitive android that’s becoming self-aware and is willing to cause harm if they feel it’s necessary.
M3GAN is wildly entertaining from beginning to end. It’s a silly horror film that understands what it is and doesn’t try to be more than that. It is intentional with its humor and horror – there are plenty of scenes are just for laughs and scenes that will make you jump. It works as a thriller and sort of works at a horror film. It 100% works as a comedy with some horror elements. M3GAN has the capacity to be a fun horror franchise. Let’s hope there’s a sequel on the way.