Monday, April 22, 2024

M3GAN slashes her way into the hearts of queer horror fans

We are barely a week into the new year and yet already the gays have found a new icon to worship in the four-foot, super stylish robot killer M3GAN.

Its no surprise really. M3GAN took the world by storm this past fall, immediately going viral after the first teaser trailers for the film were released. In those trailers the petite blonde bombshell was seen busting out ferocious dance moves in killer threads (pun intended) before advancing on her intended target. Say what you will, but when you combine camp with horror magic occurs, and gay horror fans are summoned. I don’t make the rules.

Almost immediately after the teaser dropped Tik Tok exploded with M3GAN busting out her dance moves to a variety of top charting dance tunes. Soon after, she found her place on Twitter delivering witty one-liners and engaging in a tete a tete with fellow doll mass murderer Chucky to the absolute delight of horror fans everywhere. Universal, who distributed the film produced by Blumhouse, capitalized on the gaining momentum for the film by having troupes of M3GAN dancers show up at a variety of very public events, further fueling the public’s interest in the film.

It all seems to have worked. M3GAN made a splash at the box office this past weekend, earning a whopping 30.2 million dollars domestically and another 14.8 million internationally. It’s a bonafide hit, already making back nearly four times its budget of 12 million, far surpassing projected earnings during a historically sluggish weekend at the US box office. The film has done so well that a sequel is already in pre-production. No surprise there.

So, with all that, the question remains – does M3GAN live up to the hype? And the answer is, yes she does! The film is a really good time and is surprisingly sophisticated given the subject matter. If you have not seen the film and wish to avoid any sort of spoiler, stop here.

Directed by Gerard Johnstone with a screenplay by Akela Cooper, M3GAN follows the story of Cady (Violet McGraw), a nine-year-old girl who loses her parents in a tragic car accident. Following the tragedy, Cady moves in with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), a successful roboticist who works for the fictional toy company Funki. Inspired by her niece, the work obsessed Gemma throws herself headlong into completing an ongoing project she’s been working on called M3GAN, short for Model 3 Generative Android (voiced by Jenna Davis and played by Amie Donald).

M3GAN was designed to be the ultimate toy that when paired with a child will continually evolve and adapt to meet that specific child’s needs. Gemma pairs the prototype M3GAN android with Cady with the primary directive of keeping her niece safe from physical and emotional harm.

Completely unprepared for the responsibilities of parenthood and combined with her own emotional stuntedness, Gemma virtually abandons her role as guardian to Cady, allowing M3GAN to become the girl’s main caregiver while she throws herself into her work. Left unchecked and given the most basic of instructions to operate off of, M3GAN takes her directive very serious, deadly serious in fact. Bodies begin piling up as people who hurt Cady go missing or end up dead.

The movie succeeds because it doesn’t take itself too seriously which is wise considering it’s a killer doll movie, possibly the silliest of all horror set ups. However, it does have moments of poignancy and does provide a definitive viewpoint on grief and the dangers of letting technology raise your children. The gore is minimal, as the movie has a PG-13 rating which is a con for some horror lovers. I consider myself a gore hound in my horror viewing and I can say that the lack of blood in this one didn’t really upset me. However, I think this is because my love for the film comes more from my camp sensibility as a gay man versus my love for the macabre as a horror fan. Either way, I was deliciously entertained.

M3GAN is at its best when it leans into its camp value. Some of the funniest scenes to me included the android singing Cady to sleep by singing Sia’s “Titanium”, her sassy fact checking and correcting of Gemma during discussions related to Cady’s well-being, the doll’s disheveled appearance after an encounter with the neighbor’s dog and during the final showdown where somehow the doll’s painted on mascara starts running down her face and of course her random dance performance just before she kills someone.

The gays are already living for Miss M3GAN. One need only take a gander at social media to verify her iconic status. M3GAN is the moment. You heard it here.

M3GAN is now playing in theaters nationwide.  

John Hernandez

John A. Hernandez is a staff writer for Queer Forty with a focus on entertainment. He is also a writer for Vacationer Magazine and a contributor to Bear World Magazine and Gayming Magazine. He has a special love for all things horror and Halloween. He currently resides with his husband in New York City.

John Hernandez has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by John Hernandez

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