In M3GAN, Gemma is a robotics expert and toy developer, who is currently working on a new project for the technologically advanced toy company, Funki. The project is a life-like doll called M3GAN (Model 3 Generative Android) – an artificially intelligent robot, designed to become a companion and playmate for young children.

While working on this project, Gemma receives news that her sister and brother-in-law have been killed in a car accident, leaving their daughter, Cady, as the sole survivor. With Cady having lost both parents, and having been involved in the accident herself, Gemma agrees to take her in and give her a new home.

To begin with, both Gemma and Cady struggle to settle into this new arrangement; but things change when Gemma introduces Cady to M3GAN. M3GAN is programmed to respond to Cady, and become her new best friend, and this helps smooth over any initial difficulties at home.

But over time, M3GAN’s intelligence, as well as her desire to protect Cady, begin to grow. From here she becomes violent to those around her, putting both Gemma and Cady in imminent danger.

Image: ©Universal Pictures
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Directed by Gerard Johnstone, M3GAN stars Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, and Jenna Davis. The movie is a sci-fi horror-comedy, which is currently on general release in the US, but arrives in UK cinemas on Friday.

And if you like horror, are a fan of killer doll films, or you simply want an excuse to head to the cinema this weekend, then I recommend you go take a look at M3GAN. The film is smart, wickedly dark, and is loaded with black humour.

Image: ©Universal Pictures
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Taking inspiration from the early Chucky films – and more specifically the recent Child’s Play reboot – M3GAN casts a satirical eye over modern technology and advancements in A.I. It looks at our relationship with high-tech gadgets, how the younger generation are exposed to incredibly advanced, and sometimes questionable bits of kit, and then intertwines all this with some good old-fashioned horror.

Some parts of the movie are creepy, some scenes are suspenseful, and there are a couple of moments which are downright fun. From the moment this movie begins, it is clear this is a playful, yet somewhat dangerous film, and this tone is maintained throughout the picture.

Image: ©Universal Pictures
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Keeping the whole film on track is director Gerard Johnstone, who has few directing credits on his CV, but who proves he is more than capable of delivering a superb picture. With M3GAN, he grabs the audience’s interest from the opening scene, never lets go, and continually entertains.

And what’s interesting is that with M3GAN, Johnstone presents a thoroughly enjoyable horror that isn’t filled with endless gore. M3GAN is a PG-13 in the US, a 15-certificate in the UK, and yet it works perfectly well, even if it doesn’t quite go as hard or as extreme as it could.

I imagine the rating on this film was pushed for by the studio, to give the teen crowd the opportunity to see M3GAN at the cinema. And while I am always up for a little more gore with my horror, there are no complaints from me because a.) the film works irrespective of the amount of blood in the picture, and b.) this is very much a fab movie for horror-lovin’ teens.

Image: ©Universal Pictures
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With a great dual performance from Amie Donald and Jenna Davis, who provide the body double and voice of the M3GAN doll respectively, as well as some perfectly timed frights, M3GAN is a hoot-and-a-half. Yes, it is silly at times, and it travels a well-worn road, but it does so with confidence and a knowing wink at the audience.

I am in no doubt that a sequel will follow at some point in the future, and I look forward to seeing how this series could potentially evolve with another entry. But for now, I enjoyed this film, and will no doubt give it a second watch in the not-too distant future.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.

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