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M3GAN review: ‘Everyone’s talking about M3GAN’

Bring on the M3GAN cinematic universe!

By Joey Passmore

M3GAN is out in UK cinemas 13 January. (Image: Provided)

In case you’ve been living under a rock, M3GAN is a 10k costing, robot doll prototype who might want to be your best friend a little too much. And after an instant hit of a trailer, M3GAN has taken Twitter, Tiktok and the rest of the internet by storm, with even the screenwriter (Akela Cooper – Malignant) acknowledging why the killer doll has become a “queer icon.”

Talking to SFX Magazine, Cooper elaborated that “this little girl has lost her family, and she has to go live with her aunt. Then this doll is also brought into the situation. That resonates for a lot of people in the gay community,” which may ring true for some, but we all know that its M3GAN’s fiery attitude, countless outfit changes and infinitely meme-able actions that make her a hit with the LGBTQ+. Yes, Everyone is talking about M3GAN.

But we all know that just because something is popular on the internet, it doesn’t always make it a good film, in fact it can often be quite the opposite… Luckily, M3GAN is fully in on the joke.

To cheer up her niece Cady (Violet McGraw), robotics engineer Gemma (Allison Williams) tests out the lifelike doll with her. Though marketed as a horror, where M3GAN really soars is as a fully self-aware comedy as well as satirical commentary on society’s overreliance on technology.

You’re never laughing at the talking doll, whether she’s getting dragged through the mud by the neighbour’s dog or bursting into song or dance, the script always remains in on every single joke and stays one step ahead of its audience. M3GAN is a full-on cinema experience – laughing and gasping along in all its ridiculousness in a packed-out cinema is part of the experience, and just won’t compare to the streaming at home we’ve all become a bit too used to.

Though the terrifying doll is the star of the movie, TV’s Girls‘ Allison Williams, who was also fantastic in Get Out, really shines again in this and manages to give a multi-layered performance as the career-obsessed Gemma coming to terms with her new found family. Hopefully this is the start of Williams getting a bit more recognition in Hollywood, because it’s long overdue.

What lets M3GAN down somewhat, is that because the marketing was aimed largely at the TikTok generation, the studio wanted it to meet a PG-13 rating in the US, so you can tell that a lot of the more graphic horror elements have been sacrificed. A little more gore would have made it an almost perfect little horror, so we’re eagerly awaiting the teased bloodier director’s cut.

That’s not to say that this horror is completely without tension and other elements that make it a successful horror, because you’ll still be biting your nails throughout. Apart from a slightly formulaic final act, M3GAN has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and you’ll leave the cinema excited for the inevitable sequel. Bring on the M3GAN cinematic universe.

M3GAN is out in UK cinemas 13 January.