Schadenfreude: Pleasure derived by someone from another misfortune.
Slay- To kill (a person or animal) in a violent way, or, according to Urban Dictionary, succeeded in something amazing.
AI technology has come a long way! Technology, in general, has evolved to incredible, arguably deadly, new heights. Horror movies have embraced ever-evolving technology and created new terrors and fears to haunt our dreams. One of the best, and most recent examples, would be Leigh Wannells’ critical success, The Invisible Man. Wannell took the classic tale of man-turned-monster and retooled it into a tech-centered and eternally relevant nightmare, but that is not what we are discussing today! The first mainstream horror film to hit the big screen this year is M3GAN (Megan), produced by horror powerhouses James Wan and Jason Blum, along with the star of the film, Allison Williams. While it may not be the most serious horror movie (just look at all the memes it iconically inspired), it is a campy, often hilarious, joy ride that is sure to become an instant cult classic! I cannot stress the amount of fun I had while watching! I laughed, I jumped, and I even got a tad emotional. While the film is nowhere near perfect (according to the new-age horror standards), I would much rather watch it again over films like Antlers and Hereditary, both of which are great in their own right. But now, my friends, let us dance our way into total chaos.
Cady (Violet McGraw) and her parents are on their way to a ski resort when tragedy strikes. With her parents dead, Cady goes to live with her aunt Gemma. Gemma works as an inventor at the biggest toy company in the world. The technology being developed is advanced enough to the point where Gemma can toy around with AI tech. When it becomes clear that taking Cady on will be a challenge, Gemma decides to finish the project known as M.3.G.A.N., which stands for Model 3 Generative Android. She creates a prototype android to befriend Cady, and it works! Cady opens up about how she feels after her parent’s death and is able to talk about the trauma it left, something Gemma was unable to do. But after downloading previously unavailable data and a violent accident, M.3.G.A.N. begins to take her position a little too seriously. People around Gemma begin to die in mysterious accidents as Cady grows unhealthy bonds with the doll. All hell begins to break loose when the two’s friendship is at stake. It is utter chaos. I loved every second of it.
I loved what the movie was trying to say. Themes surrounding our overreliance on technology are at play. We see how both parents and children are affected. Gemma’s love for tech causes her to rely on M.3.G.A.N. to care for Cady, while Cady only truly confides her feelings with her new best friend. The two are put through the wringer on their journey toward trust and acceptance. It may not be brimming with emotional moments, but I felt one scene, in particular, hit the right note. It was fun to see the film’s creators trying to imbue more emotional moments into their final product.
I will probably get some eye rolls and snarky thoughts from horror gatekeepers, but I do love a good ol’ cheesy horror flick. Don’t get me wrong, I love new-age horror films (I hate the term elevated horror. It sounds way too pretentious, in my opinion), but sometimes I just want to have a good time and not feel melancholic for the next 3 hours! If you are the same, I would highly recommend grabbing everyone you know and booking a ticket asap! It is best seen with a big audience! Those new to horror will be able to make it through like pros! Have fun, besties!