Nightmare playmate for kids and parents “M3gan” arrives in cinemas

Big blue eyes and long blonde hair, M3gan appears as a delightful little girl, the ideal friend for children in need of company and protection and, at the same time, the best ally that parents could wish for to face the educational challenge of their children; not negligible detail, M3gan is also the prototype of a highly sophisticated android equipped with artificial intelligenceprogrammed to be associated with a young human who can count on him for every psychological and material need: the premise of the film, which bears the title of this technological prodigy and which will be released in theaters January 4follows some themes dear to the science fictionlinked above all to the narrations of the AI ​​-Artificial Intelligence-, but since the trailer it is evident how much this is contaminated by thehorror.

It is no coincidence, after all, that the film is produced by Jason Blum Of Blumhouse Productionswhich boasts famous titles of the genre including “Insidious”, “The Purge”, “Get Out” and “Us”, and from James Wan Of Atomic Monster Productionswhich has among its most significant productions the horror saga of “The Conjuring”, with films related to the character of the doll Annabelle: in terms of toys with the features of disturbing little girls, therefore, the producers of “M3gan” have a great experience, but in this new title the screenwriter Akela Cooper and the director Gerard Johnston they declined the theme probing the anxieties and dilemmas related to the use of new technologies and the impact they can have on younger users.

The film tells the story of Gemma (Allison Williams), a robotics engineer at a major toy company, and his 8-year-old granddaughter Cady (Violet McGraw); the little girl, orphaned, is entrusted to her aunt, who turns out to be completely unprepared for the responsibility of educating the little girl: the pressures at work, caused by the experiments on the M3gan prototype of which she is the creator, make Gemma unclear and even more insecure about his new role as a parent. The woman therefore decides to associate M3gan with her granddaughter, in the hope of giving the girl a companion who can alleviate the lack of her missing loved ones and, at the same time, demonstrate the quality of her work, denying the ethical doubts raised by some colleagues about the use of the prototype.

The bond established between Cady and M3gan (acronym of Model 3 Generative Android) gets stronger day by day, but Artificial Intelligence evolves quickly and the android develops a protective instinct that goes beyond any pre-set standard: with the sole aim of preserving “his” human, M3gan ends up questioning the authority of Gemma, making himself the protagonist of a terrible escalation of violence.

In the narration, as well as in the soul of M3gan, the “evil” supernatural element is therefore missing, replaced by an equally frightening technological component; in promotional interviews, producer James Wan explained this choice: “Our M3gan is divided between the Annabelle doll, a simulacrum of evil forces, and the Terminator: the horror, in this case, comes from the progress in the application of AI”; for director Gerald Johnstone, also “The influence of Pinocchio is also evident in M3GAN’s DNA, with Gemma in the role of a modern Geppetto”.

Certainly science fiction and horror fans will enjoy recognizing in the film more than a source of inspiration, literary and cinematic, but regardless of the numerous genre homages, the film aims to explore the relationship between man and technology, placing the emphasis on parenting; the screenwriter Akela Cooper underlined the desire to tell, with the character of Gemma, the insecurities of a single mother of the twenty-first century: “Gemma is totally focused on her career and suddenly has to take charge of her granddaughter; rather than face the emotional challenge of stepping out of her comfort zone, she chooses to use work as a solution. She feeds on the illusion of being able to take care of her granddaughter without actually having to do it”.

The film, in addition to proposing a general reflection on the impact of technology in everyday life, analyzes the relationship that the younger generations establish with the devices they rely on with great naturalness and in an uncritical way, without possessing the tools to evaluate the consequences of such an addiction: “What would happen” wonders James Wan again, “what if suddenly these tools decide to overturn the power relations? With M3gan we have tried to capture this perspective”.

The idea that such an attack could start from the harmless bedroom of an 8-year-old girl is shocking, but, in hindsight, more plausible than one might imagine, because it suggests a daily and constant penetration of AI into our lives, the real extent of which we cannot have an immediate awareness. The theme has been masterfully treated in relatively recent series, such as “Black Mirror”, but already belonged to the science fiction of Isaac Asimov and of the numerous film adaptations that have been made of his literary works: think, by way of example, of the 1950 collection of short stories “I, robot”.

“M3gan” aims to outline these themes through a reinterpretation of the horror classics linked to a disturbing childhood narrative, in which the thrill comes from one of the symbols par excellence of the childish game, the doll, which transforms into a hyper-technological android equipped with Artificial Intelligence: will it be yet another terrifying Blumhouse success?

Nightmare playmate for kids and parents “M3gan” arrives in cinemas – S&H ​​Magazine