When I walked into the theater to see M3GAN, I didn't know what to expect. Sure, I'd seen the memes of 4-foot tall blonde android dancing around while wielding a blade from a paper cutter. But would it be any good?
Over the holiday season, a trailer for the movie popped up on the screen and my mom turned to me and said, “That looks terrible.” But thanks to early previews, M3GAN became a viral sensation because, well, it did look ridiculous. In a word that's become overused, it seemed utterly “camp.”
The gist of M3GAN is simple: when young Cady (Violet McGraw) loses both of her parents in a tragic car accident, her tech-savvy, toy-designing aunt, Gemma (Allison Williams), takes her in and gifts her with one of her latest inventions—a lifelike doll named M3GAN (short for Model 3 Generative Android) that learns and responds from her master and will do *anything* to protect her (even if it means manslaughter).
With a silly-enough premise and a titular character that looks like Chucky dressed as a Gossip Girl character, I was all in. However, I was totally unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster M3GAN took me on. Not only was this thriller full of jokes and full of scares, but it was surprisingly full of tenderness too (all the while avoiding cheesiness). It leaned into its absurdity. Did a movie about a killer doll make me tear up and cackle all in the same breath? Yes, yes it did. It may only be January, but I am positive M3GAN will be one of the best films I'll see in 2023.