Thursday, July 20, 2023

M3GAN mostly succeeds at being creepy and fantastical, with a little horror and suspense sprinkled in

M3GAN, which stands for Model 3 generative android, was probably the top horror movie on my list to watch over the past several months. And while it's an interesting sci-fi tale, with several gory scenes, it's pretty tame in terms of horror. That said, while a little creepy, it's a movie I think most people would enjoy checking out on Amazon Prime.

Here are some interesting things about the production:

  1. I was wondering if the doll was an actual actor or CGI. But M3GAN was played by two actors: Amie Donald, who provided the doll's body movements, and Jenna Davis, who provided the doll's voice. 
  2. Donald is a 12-year-old professional dancer who represented New Zealand at the Dance World Cup in 2019. This explains some of the wild dance and gymnastic-like moves by the doll.
  3. M3GAN continues a nice turn for Girls' actor Allison Williams, known as the daughter of former NBC News anchor Brian Williams and who previously starred in Get Out, another movie that dabbles in horror but leans more towards making a statement on the human condition, in ways very similar to M3GAN actually. 
  4. The movie was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand. The producers wanted to go there because of the tax breaks, the government support, the highly qualified film crew in place there, the beautiful scenery, and also becuase the producers admired the country's excellent COVID-19 response.
  5. The filmmakers definitely have powerhouse resumes.
    1. Director Gerard Johnstone is known for his work on the horror comedies Housebound, which looks like it's worth watching, and What We Do in the Shadows (I thought the TV show was pretty good but haven't seen the movie; incidentally, I's currently watching season 1 of True Blood, which is goofy great, but I may only have the headspace for one form of vampire entertainment at the moment).
    2. Producer Jason Blum is the founder of Blumhouse Productions, which is known for producing really good horror movies such as the before-mentioned Get Out and The Babadook.
    3. The script was written by James Wan and Ingrid Bisu. Wan is a well-known horror director who has directed movies such as Saw and The Conjuring. Bisu is an actress who has appeared in movies such as The Quiet Place Part II and Malignant.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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