Woody and Jim

Woody and Jim

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The Horror Movie The Whole Family Can See

Photo: CHANDLER, JIM

Cady, a young girl who lost her parents – and witnessed said loss – gets put into the custody of her ill-equipped aunt who just so happens to work for a toy company. In Aunt Gemma’s desperation to find a balance between her already stressful job and learning how to care for a child leads her to rush the completion of M3GAN, an android humanoid robot.

M3GAN is then tasked to support and protect Cady without much beta testing, the humanoid doll takes things a bit too literally and shenanigans ensue.

This is a horror film for non-horror people and, from beginning to end, is a fun romp. It doesn’t take itself too seriously while also raising serious questions about the future role of robots in our society. Families have started to go see M3GAN because not only is it rated PG-13 and not R but it deals with everyday child-raising issues such as screen time, emotional dependency and even grief. While telling one story, it still manages to speak to all generations wherever they’re at in their life journey.

On a budget of just $12 million, this Blumhouse film has become an accidental viral success due mainly to 12 year old New Zealand actor Amie Donald’s portrayal of M3GAN. Yes, Violet McGraw is excellent as Cady and Allison Williams solidifies the acting roster as Gemma but if M3GAN is placed in just about anybody’s hands other than Donald’s, it’s just another forgettable January movie.

Donald's dancing background is put to serious work here. No, not just because of the viral TikTok dance she does while grabbing a paper cutter blade. Her understanding of physical control and her ability of popping and locking are essential to getting the most out of the character given to her.

JKG SCORE: 7.5

The Untitled Film Project Podcast discussed the incredibly fun M3GAN and they welcome you to join the discussion. Listen below.


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