M3GAN Review: A Hilariously Camp Killer Thriller Unlike Any Other

In a million years, you will never guess what the opening scene of this movie is. So let’s just say it sets the tone for the rest of the film. You’ve seen killer doll movies before, like Child’s PlayAnnabelle, and The Boy. However, I can guarantee you have never seen anything like M3GAN, a science fiction horror film that brings the long-standing evil doll trope into the 21st century. We’ve arrived in a new generation with a hilariously camp killer thriller unlike any other.

This film features a story from James Wan, director of Saw and The Conjuring, and Akela Cooper, the writer of Malignant. Wan and Cooper are a dynamic duo and work their magic with this film. The movie follows Gemma (Allison Williams), a roboticist who gains custody of her niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), after losing her parents in a car accident. In over her head and inexperienced with children, Gemma decides to build an artificially intelligent doll named M3GAN, meant to be the ultimate companion of a child. M3GAN is friendly and caring, programmed to protect Cady from emotional and physical harm. All is well until, of course, it isn’t.

You won’t believe your eyes with this one. M3GAN is the epitome of the uncanny valley, blurring the line between lifelike and robotic. Her design is creepy in a hilarious way. When the marketing threw in a now-viral scene of M3GAN dancing down a hallway before pulling out a paper guillotine to murder someone, that should have clued you in on what this movie is. While the Child’s Play movies have incorporated camp humor into their films, M3GAN is on another level, giving you a dark wit that will have you roaring with laughter. This movie is incredulous on multiple levels, and that’s what makes it work so well.

Everyone has seen a movie or show about an evil doll that kills people. There are tons of them. This film incorporates A.I. into the mix, using the genre to explore themes of reliance on technology and how A.I. cannot replace a real human connection. It’s an interesting message to put into what is undoubtedly a slasher comedy for the ages. This is one of the funniest movies of the decade disguised as a horror flick—everything M3GAN says and does is horrifying in the most amusing way possible.

As a matter of fact, M3GAN knows precisely what type of movie it is and knows exactly how to have fun. Had the film taken itself seriously, the result would be an unintentionally funny disaster that does not work. But the humor in this movie is intentional and brilliantly written. It’s not easy to pinpoint what made this film so hysterical. Perhaps it is the fact that everything is played with a straight face and a tongue poking out of its cheek. But this delightfully demented horror comedy is worth seeing in the largest crowd.

Director Gerard Johnstone marvelously brings this script to life. While the characterization and dramatic elements could have been stronger, and the story follows a familiar formula, M3GAN is an instant cult classic. The film’s final act is slasher movie gold, and the rest offers prime comedy. It’s camp, ridiculous, and out of this world, giving you a playful, enormously fun time at the movies. M3GAN is an iconic slasher movie villain already, and you’ll love seeing her in action, whether she’s playing, killing, or doing a dance to die for.

SCORE: 8/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.

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