Here comes the fresh face of terror, “M3GAN” — from the most prolific minds in horror: James Wan, the filmmaker behind the highly-successful “Saw”, “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” franchises, and Blumhouse, producer of the “Halloween” films, “The Black Phone” and “The Invisible Man.”
“M3GAN” is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a life-like doll programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by brilliant toy-company roboticist Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to.
When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw, The Haunting of Hill House), Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences. As M3GAN and Cady develop an unbreakable bond, Gemma grows more and more terrified that the very creation she invented to help Cady heal is learning at an exponential rate…and that M3GAN may be perceiving “threats” to Cady that do not exist. M3GAN also co-stars Ronny Chieng (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) as David, Gemma’s C.E.O. at the toy company that bankrolls what will become M3GAN and is directed by Gerard Johnston.
James Wan, who also helmed “Aquaman” and visited the Philippines for the film’s world promotion tour shared that his latest-produced horror movie “M3GAN” began with the conversation that there are not enough killer-doll movies. “That led me to say, ‘It’s funny. There is a perception that I make those kinds of films. Strangely enough, none of my dolls kill anyone. They are a conduit for a supernatural entity or a demonic force that lives within. For example, in the case of Saw, Jigsaw has a puppet that he talks through as a mouthpiece. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did a killer-doll movie that was Annabelle meets The Terminator,” Wan says.
On a broader cultural level, the film explores our increasing dependence on technology to run our lives … and the potential threat if that tech begins to exceed our control. “The science and the A.I. aspects were fascinating with which to play, as they are so relevant to today’s world,” Wan continues. “We rely on technology so much in everything we do. For these devices to turn around and attack us would be horrifying. That’s the thing that we wanted to try and capture with M3GAN.”
A Universal Pictures International feature film, “M3GAN” will play in cinemas on January 8.