By Marc Peoples
Okay, Harlemites… I know there are two reasons not to go to the movies this time of year: Number one, it’s freezing outside and number two, films that are released in the month of January are usually what Hollywood would consider “trash.”
But every once in a while, we get a hidden gem among the trash, in this year’s dumpster dive it’s M3gan.
M3gan is a horror film directed by Gerard Johnstone with Allison Williams (Get Out) starring in the lead. The story follows her character Gemma, a roboticist for a toy company as she suddenly takes the role of a mother figure for her niece, Cady after the tragic deaths of her parents.
Struggling to adapt to their new living situation, Gemma creates an android doll called M3gan (Model 3 Generative Android) that develops a companionship with Cady, but soon exceeds expectations and becomes hostile towards others.
Akela Cooper’s screenplay does offer more than what you see in the marketing for the film; like exploring the corporate world of children’s toy marketing. The movie even opens with a satirical commercial sequence telling the audience that this film will have some humor like the dance sequence that became popular on the internet. Unfortunately, I think that sequence looked better in the trailer and there wasn’t any reason for her to dance at all.
Speaking of M3gan herself, she was indeed fun to watch. As soon as she appears on screen the film picks up. Though M3gan was physically played by 12-year-old actress and dancer, Amie Donald her voice was played by actor and singer, Jenna Davis.
Sometimes M3gan moves like a robot, but in other scenes, she moves like an ordinary little girl and it’s hard to tell if all that was done by Amie or was some of it puppetry.
Another plus is Jenna Davis’ singing. There are two catchy songs that M3gan sings to Cady. The first is a warm comforting song called “Tell Me Your Dreams”, but my personal favorite is the more sinister “Titanium”. Both are included in the film’s soundtrack.
The film also takes time in building the two main characters which some might think are the slow parts, but It’s actually done pretty well. The last thing I want to mention is that the film explores death from a child’s perspective and the dangers of children becoming too attached to electronics.
Overall, M3gan is an enjoyable horror film and probably the best one released in January in recent years. The PG-13 rating makes the deaths less violent so it’s okay to take your kids if you think they can handle it. There is already a sequel in the works so keep a lookout, M3gan could be our next horror icon.
Here’s the movie’s trailer (including the dance):
Photo Credits: 1) universalpictures.com 2) syfy.com 3) newyorker.com