M3GAN ★★★½

With a good mix of humor, horror, and even heart, M3GAN is a very entertaining film. I don't think it's the new horror classic that everyone is saying it is right now, but I can't deny that it is good. For me, the main highlight of the film is the cast. Allison Williams and Violent McGraw are both fantastic in their roles and Amie Donald does very well in her role as the artificially intelligent doll herself. I also need to give props to Jenna Davis who does the voice for M3GAN herself. Honestly, everything surrounding M3GAN herself is great. The visual effects work on her are good and even if the doll itself looks appropriately creepy, it still looks like a doll that a little kid would want to have. Take notes, Annabelle. In terms of comedy and horror, as I've said balance with each other pretty well. Some moments get a good laugh and some scenes are backed up by a creepy atmopshere to make them all the more effective. While nothing special, the film is fine from a filmmaking aspect, the soundtrack can surprisingly make the comedy a lot more effective, and the directing from Gerard Johnstone is good. The last thing I'll say in terms of positives is the amount of heart that the film has. While I would not call this a drama, some scenes are surprisingly a lot more heart-breaking than I would expect. Between the stellar acting and even the story itself of a little girl losing both parents and needing something to bond with, these contribute to why the film, is a lot more than just a killer doll movie and these moments don't feel out of place at all. However, M3GAN isn't entirely perfect. While it's very good in terms of making you laugh and even sad, the film isn't all that scary. Not to say there aren't any shocking, creepy, or even brutal moments, but nothing left me terrified after watching this movie and I think a lot of that has to do with the film's PG-13 rating, which does sadly hold the film back from going even further with its kills and gore. I'm not saying every horror movie needs an R-rating to be scary, but with the kind of movie this is, an R would've made it a lot scarier and the kills more memorable. By themselves, the kills are great and they do push the PG-13 rating very far, but I'm only imagining how much more batshit crazy this film could've gone had it gotten an R-rating. The film also does suffer from a fairly predictable plot and even if it's executed well, it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from other killer doll movies like Child's Play. I guess the film being a satirical look at our obsession with technology does separate it from other killer doll movies, but it's hard to not compare this film to other ones within the same genre, especially Child's Play. Overall, despite a predictable plot and a PG-13 rating holding it back, M3GAN is still an entertaining horror comedy that is a bit more than just another killer doll movie. Again, I don't think this is the new modern-day horror classic, but I can't deny that I had a good time while watching it. If you're a fan of killer doll movies or if the trailer got you curious to go see it, then I would recommend checking this film out. For me, I would consider either Nope or The Black Phone the new modern-day horror classic, but M3GAN is another solid effort from both Blumhouse and producer James Wan's Atomic Monster Productions. Oh, and Universal just announced not that long ago that an M3GAN sequel is in the works and is coming in January 2025. Not sure if it's entirely necessary to have a sequel to M3GAN, but as long as the same creative team is back for it and Universal doesn't go overboard on making more sequels, I'll be open to at least one more of these.

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