An AI doll meant to protect a young girl goes rogue in this great horror gem of 2023.
When Gemma, an expert in robotics and works for a local toy company, learns her sister and brother-in-law were killed in a car accident, she becomes the legal guardian of her niece, Cady. As Gemma doesn’t know anything about parenting, she is nervous at first. She decides to continue on a secret project, a 4-foot AI doll she calls M3gan. When she completes the doll, she introduces Cady to M3gan, who is programmed to protect and help Cady.
When Gemma introduced M3gan to her boss David and the board of the toy company, at first, it is met with resistance, until Cady begins to show the bond she has with M3gan. However, when a day at an alternative school leads to Cady being bullied, M3gan shows an overprotective side that leads to her using physical force against the bully. Soon enough, M3gan begins to go after anyone who threatens Cady and soon enough, Gemma learns that M3gan now has a mind of her own and must come up with a plan to stop her when things go too far.
From horror producers Jason Blum and James Wan comes this tale of an AI doll gone rogue. While there may be some sort of Child’s Play, Banana Splits Movie, riff with the central plot being similar, this film, like the titular doll, has a mind of her own. And thanks to the physical performance of 12-year-old Amie Donald, whose physical skills make M3gan how it is along with Jenna Davis’ voice, M3gan is a force to reckon with.
Alison Williams is excellent as Gemma, a woman who is more career-driven than a family stalwart whose life is turned upside down when she is forced to become a guardian to her niece, Cady. Her relationship starts out somewhat civil then upon the introduction of M3gan, slowly deteriorates. It gets to a point where it even gets a little physical, but hand it to Violet McGraw for pulling off an impressive performance as the conflicted Cady.
However, it is Amie Donald who unleashes the excellent M3gan to life. Having the ability at age twelve to pull off some incredible stunts makes this insanely fun and sinister. For instance, the scene where she runs on all fours after Cady’s bully was not done with CGI or wire enhancements. That was done in part of Donald’s physical abilities and of course, what could be creepier than the now viral dance, where M3gan uses it as a distraction to confront Gemma’s boss David, played by a stern Ronny Chieng. An unrated version shows a little more crimson and is sure to please horror fans even more.
M3gan is the new force to reckon with, thanks to the combination of Jenna Davis’ voice talents and Amie Donald’s physicality. A great horror film to check out, especially in its unrated form.
WFG RATING: A
Universal Pictures presents a Blumhouse/Atomic Monster production. Director: Gerard Johnstone. Producers: Jason Blum and James Wan. Writer: Akela Cooper; story by Cooper and James Wan. Cinematography: Peter McCaffrey. Editing: Jeff McEvoy.
Cast: Alison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis (voice), Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Stephane Garneau-Monten, Lori Dungey, Amy Usherwood, Jack Cassidy.