‘M3gan’ falls short in the horror category

John Pham

Gerard Johnstone’s “M3gan” harbored unintentional laughter in the audience and left no room to feel the intended horror and fear during its 102 minute screen time.

“M3gan” follows the story of a toy, portrayed by Amie Donald, with artificial intelligence so sophisticated that it can teach, play and have full-on conversations with its user. However, this artificial intelligence eventually learns too much and deviates from its intended programming. 

The robot toy was made by Gemma (Allison Williams), a tech-toy company employee, for her niece Cady (Violet McGraw), who lost her parents in a tragic accident. Megan’s purpose is to distract Cady from the grief of losing her parents – nearly replacing Gemma as a caretaker. 

Megan eventually takes her primary role too far when she murders Cady’s neighbors, school bullies and even animals to protect her from potential dangers of life. Gemma’s suspicions of Megan create a struggle for survival between humans and artificial intelligence. 

Unfortunately, this sci-fi horror storyline is unoriginal and mirrors favorites like “Child’s Play” and “The Terminator.” The film’s concept is all too familiar, causing the plot to become predictable.

The CGI used for Megan lacked the scare factor the film was going for, making it look strange. Some scenes in Megan even made me laugh because instead of trying to convey horror or creepiness, it came off as goofy and awkward. 

Although the movie lacked the main aspects of a great horror movie, the attention to the subtle details was refreshing. Megan’s speech pattern – though robotic and monotone at first – improves as she learns to speak and act like a human.

Another great addition to the movie is its use of psychology to explain Cady’s behavior with Megan. The movie uses correct terminology when referring to Cady’s mental and behavioral health. 

Although the movie’s concept and execution are flawed, it will undoubtedly become a movie to laugh about with your friends. Overall, “M3gan” is a movie that can be enjoyed by any non-horror fanatic, but not for hardcore fans who come expecting gore and psychological terror.

Rating: 2/5