“M3GAN” is a new sci-fi horror thriller film produced by Blumhouse and one that sets itself apart from most works of its genre. Unlike many other films of this kind, “M3GAN” seems to be aware of the impossible and almost unbelievable nature of its plot. In it, a toy company comes up with a super invention—a life-sized humanoid robot to be a companion to lonely kids. But like every other typical science/tech-gone-out-of-control film, the robot turns violent and goes on a killing spree. There might be elements to like in the film if one enjoys humor in their horror, but otherwise, it is a superficial work easy enough to skip.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The film opens with an advertisement sketch for a toy pet robot named PurRpetual Petz, developed by a leading toy company called Funki. The robot is then also shown being used as a family drives their car through snowy weather, heading to their skiing trip. Cady, the young daughter, plays with her pet robot, which has certain AI qualities, like responding to its owner and having to be fed through a mobile app, but it seems rather disrespectful. As the snow gets heavier, the family decides to take a break, but they do so right in the middle of the road, and a snow truck smashes right into their car. The couple instantly dies, and only Cady survives the horrific accident, now left alone in the world.
The girl’s aunt, Gemma, is contacted by authorities in Seattle as she is the only contact that Cady has, and Gemma decides to adopt the girl. However, Gemma’s lifestyle or choices do not go well with the role of a mother, as she is a busy and invested head developer at the Funki toy company. It was Gemma who gifted Cady the PurRpetual Petz toy, and she has been working on a new humanoid robot at present. While her boss David is not willing to take the risk of developing a new toy using the company’s resources, Gemma does not want to give up on her project yet. Inside her house, Gemma struggles to step into the role of a mother or even an adult companion, as she hardly manages to spend any time with Cady.
One night, she tries to make up for her absence and shows Cady her college project—a motion-controlled robot named Bruce—and the young girl shows an immediate interest in it. Using this as motivation, Gemma merges the technology used in Bruce with that of her new humanoid project and comes up with a final product. Named M3gan, or Model 3 Generative Android, this humanoid has all the capabilities, ranging from having a memory to having emotions, that a child would apparently need in their companion or friend.
Why Does M3gan Turn Violent?
The characters in this sci-fi horror are not expected to have much depth, just like the overall plot. However, “M3GAN” does keep certain subtleties about its central figures that do add to who they are. Gemma, for example, is a mix of dutiful and aloof, and she struggles to give Cady space in her life. The woman is very particular and controlling about things—she wants all glasses and cups to be placed on a coaster instead of her expensive wooden furniture and expects Cady to remember this, even though the girl is still visibly upset about her parent’s deaths. Gemma has a number of interesting robotic toys in her house, but they are always to be kept away, packed in their original boxes, as they are meant to be kept as collectables. She does not let her niece play with them till the court-appointed psychiatrist shows her doubts about whether Gemma is the best fit to be Cady’s new guardian. For most parts of the film, Gemma seems to be in two minds about the fact that she has adopted Cady. She genuinely tries to make attempts to get close to the girl at times, and then at others, she simply makes use of her presence for her professional needs. She takes Cady along to her office in order to present the prototype M3gan to her boss David and then to the investors, even though the girl does not really feel comfortable doing so.
M3gan is designed to pair with and listen to her user at all times, and Gemma uses her niece to demonstrate this throughout the length of the film. It is only towards the end that Gemma starts behaving more responsibly with the girl, and this is probably because she senses M3gan’s destructive abilities. Gemma also, at one point, tries sending Cady to a school as opposed to her usual homeschooling system, and she stresses the need for the development of social skills. But based on what we are shown, Gemma herself seems stunted in this aspect, as her only interactions are work-based. She does not have a good relationship with her elderly neighbor Celia at all, as she keeps complaining about her dog and the pesticides she uses, both sneaking onto her property. As Celia responds, both of these could be avoided if Gemma fixed a rather big hole in the fence on her side, but the woman never does so. Her super-tech smart home AI assistant, Elsie, announces that she has new notifications on Tinder as well, hinting that the woman does want some kind of companion in life, whether serious or casual, as she is evidently very lonely. But just like Cady, Gemma keeps herself away from these possibilities in order to keep working towards her professional goals.
It is, therefore, no wonder that a companion with artificial intelligence like M3gan steps exactly into the role of trying to be the guardian and the protector. From the time M3gan is first booted up, there is a sense of sinister about how she looks and talks, and this increases all the more through the film’s duration. Although designed to show emotions and react to situations and conversations to a limited degree, the doll starts to grow self-aware and raises questions about herself. The reasons for her turning evil or going on a killing spree are not mentioned in detail or explained in depth in the film. She starts doing so only after M3gan has paired up with Cady and developed a bond with her. Although this bond is as authentic as that between a human and an AI robot, which is not really much. Nonetheless, M3gan was always supposed to get violent, and so she does after Celia’s dog bites Cady. She picks up the devilish trait of using different voices to lure in her victims at specific times. M3gan impersonates Celia’s voice to call in the dog and kill it and then uses the barks to bring in Celia and kill her too. Celia’s death is not really because she did anything against Cady, but the neighbor works against Gemma and her unusual family. The most satisfying kill by M3gan is probably when she causes the death of the bully Brandon. The obnoxious boy tries to tease Cady and then harm her robotic doll, and M3gan tears his ear off as punishment. She then chases him in the most frightful manner, running on all fours, and Brandon falls in front of a rushing car, dying in the process.
Gradually M3gan starts to recognize the lack of motherly affection in Gemma and starts placing herself in that role. The robot takes notice of how Gemma tells her niece’s sad and grievous story in order to get investment for her company and comforts the girl. Although the people watching this demonstration consider this great proof of M3gan’s capabilities, the robot doll keeps track of all of this. This is why she later turns against Gemma and everyone at Funki, as well as for the fact that Gemma realizes the evil in her and keeps her away from Cady. Even in her most self-conscious form, M3gan keeps away from any moral decisions or choices and only does what she deems her duty—to protect Cady at all costs. However, towards the end, the doll does seem to develop moral judgments and is almost like a ruthless punisher. Perhaps this would explain her murder of Funki boss David and his assistant Kurt toward the end.
In a scene beginning with M3gan dancing, which might seem ridiculous to some (myself included), the girl picks up a sword and kills the two men. Incidentally, this dance of hers became viral on short-video platforms and also directly led to the film’s great box office success. While M3gan seems to kill David because he is the arrogant corporate boss, she provides a little more explanation before murdering Kurt. The assistant had been stealing information from the company and possibly trying to sell it elsewhere. M3gan now decides that he deserves to die because of this, and she is also intelligent enough to frame the whole scene to look like Kurt had killed his boss before committing suicide.
‘M3GAN’ Ending Explained: What Happens To M3gan, Cady, And Gemma In The End?
While the people at Funki prepare to present M3gan to the world in a campaign show, Gemma tells her colleagues to stop this. By now, she has realized that the doll is too dangerous and evil to release onto the market, and she even tells her colleague Tess to do so. But what she does not realize is that it is M3gan who impersonates the voice of Tess and pretends to agree to her decision. In contrast, M3gan hurts Tess and another colleague, Cole, before freeing herself and escaping from the company building. It is during this time that she also murders David and Kurt, then takes over a car and drives to Gemma’s house. Here, she confronts Gemma about her fully aware intention to become Cady’s friend as well as guardian forever, and it is clear that she would hurt anybody in the way of this. Despite being engrossed with tech at all times, Gemma realizes that this would stunt Cady’s emotional growth forever and, more dangerously, could even kill her, so she starts to fight M3gan. This fight continues for a while, and it is Cady who now steps in to intervene. The young girl pretends to side with M3gan before attacking her with the old robot Bruce. As expected by all, including Gemma, M3gan immediately turns against the one she was apparently going to protect forever and now attacks Cady too. Finally, M3gan is about to kill Gemma when Cady stabs the processor in her head and destroys it before there can be any serious harm.
Cady’s sudden change toward supporting her aunt Gemma’s cause also seems superficial. She had been behaving rather obnoxiously for quite some time now, ever since M3gan had become her companion. The young girl was even about to stab Gemma earlier when the aunt wanted to keep her away from the robotic doll. Nonetheless, such an ending was always supposed to happen, and so Cady realizes that her companion is actually a cold-blooded killer. Perhaps this realization is driven by the fact that she sneaks up on the fight between the robot and Gemma and overhears their conversation. By the end, M3gan is just a pure evil monster with no other intention than to hurt everyone. Even though this is not the most well-developed change, it seems to be good for business, especially for turning the film into a possible franchise. The very end scene shows Gemma’s smart home AI Elsie turn on by itself and turn a menacing eye toward Gemma and Cady, who has survived the night. This means that the super-powerful M3gan, which had been taking over every smart device towards the end, has now taken over Elsie as well. Even though its body has been destroyed, the evil consciousness has survived and now plans to harm Gemma and her niece. Added to this is the fact that a sequel for the film has already been announced, and “M3GAN,” therefore, is only the first film in a series of others to follow.