M3gan: Masterpiece by Mistake

M3gan: Masterpiece by Mistake

Siena Avolio , Guest Writer


Terrifying horror movies have entertained the population for decades. When thinking of horror films, the frightening main characters from Annabelle, Freddie Krueger, Pennywise, or Chucky come to mind; however, after the introduction of M3gan, the story of a futuristic “Model 3 Generated Android”, it’s safe to say that she will not be a character of my nightmares any time soon. 


In attempts to play on the fear of AI and the possible extension of the technological revolution, director Gerard Johnstone and writer Akela Cooper created a story of a robotist and toy designer, Gemma, played by Allison William. She creates the robot M3gan to protect her orphaned niece Cady, of whom she has custody. While the story had potential to build off of the anxiety surrounded by the advancement of technology, the execution was either tragic or one of the most comedic works of art to make the University 16 Theater. 


It’s unclear whether the movie is satire or not, but the genre is noted as horror and Sci-Fi by those who had starred in it. The first mistake of the movie is the image of M3gan. Played by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis who is commonly referred to as “Penny Nickel Dime Girl” due to her viral video of 2018, the character did not embody the traditional horror figure. This can be attributed to her appearance that resembles that of an American Girl Doll who grew up in the potato famine of 1845. By having an actress whose previous credits includes The Chicken Girls and Disney Channel’s Raven’s Home, the doll lost the potential to be remotely scary, even when it was ruthlessly murdering people. In attempts to intensify the creepiness of the doll, M3gan is shown singing “Titanium” by Sia in Cady’s room, played by Violet McGraw. Rather than shivering at the “haunting” song choice, the whole theater seemed as if they were watching a bad American Idol audition. 


Well if singing did not work out for poor M3gan, dancing certainly did not either. Clearly there is an element of lightheartedness and comedy as M3gan starts busting it down and embracing her inner Charlie Damelio right before she stabs two men with a sword. 


Other noteworthy scenes that are uncertain as to whether they were created to be intentionally funny or not include when M3gan tries to play with Cady. She comes in, wanting to teach Cady how to make a macaroni necklace, to which Cady responds in cries about how her parents are dead. While it seems insensitive to laugh at this intense, dramatic scene, Gemma’s niece really brought down the crafty mood. This scene produced laughter among the crowd, similar to the first scene of the film. It cuts from the intensity of the Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monsters introduction to a lighthearted commercial of PurrPetual Pets, also designed by Gemma, with fun music and colors. It’s unclear if the movie had started yet until it zooms out to Cady watching this commercial. Further building on this poor start to the movie, it is hard not to chuckle at the irony as a train hits Cady’s car, killing her parents, directly after the silliness of the knock-off Furby commercial. The different tones in the intro with the horrifying car crash and the light hearted, comical commercial leads to even more confusion on whether the movie is ironically funny, or if its directing was so poor that it is easy to make a joke of. One must see the movie themselves to make their own opinion on it.


These random and confusing surprise scenes when no one knows what is happening is why this movie is a masterpiece in disguise. While the movie certainly is under the horror genre, the irony creates elements of camp as the plot progresses. The effect of the movie is genius because it leaves people astounded at what they are watching. Thus, the whole plot of M3gan is so tragically produced as a horror movie that its failures and questions are widely discussed. They are spread around, allowing M3gan to get in our minds and conquer the world.