M3GAN: The Movie We Need


Daniel Arnold, Contributor

Watching M3GAN is, in the immortal words of Karlie Kloss, looking camp right in the eye, and it’s exactly the film we need to jumpstart 2023. You most likely know the film from its marketing of course, the viral dance sequence, which in the film proper is certainly a highlight, but far from the movie’s only moment of unhinged camp. Horror as a genre has always been a breeding ground for grand kitsch (just look at such classics as Sleepaway Camp) and M3GAN is a highlight of the artform. My biggest gripe is just that it leans far more on the “comedy” side of “horror-comedy”. M3GAN herself is unnerving, yes, but not scary, merely uncanny valley. She’s a blast to watch, but her murders, the highlights of the film, are few and far between, and are hampered by the need to cut away from any gore. There’s only really three of them, four if one counts the climax, and I can’t help but wish for more; it really feels like the movie was held back by its PG-13 rating.

None of this is to say that the movie holds only ironic enjoyment value, of course. The movie is camp, and over the top, but it’s not like films like Jason X, where the only value is how absurd it is. The movie has some great performances, particularly Allison Williams and Violet McGraw as the two leads. Jenna Davis’ vocal performance as the titular doll is pitch-perfect as well. The movie plays it a bit too conventionally (The main plot is the sort of “emotionally distant businessman/woman adopts troubled orphan” story you’ve no doubt seen before, including in fellow killer doll movie Child’s Play 2), and isn’t likely to surprise you, but it’s a fun time. M3GAN gets my seal of recommendation to both horror fans and those with milder tastes.