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 (Allison Williams, Get Out), M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to. As Gemma faces pressure at work from her boss (Ronny Chieng, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) to deliver a finished version of M3GAN, she suddenly becomes the unprepared caretaker of her newly orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw, The Haunting of Hill House). Gemma decides to pair the M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.
For in-depth thoughts on M3GAN, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here.
M3GAN arrives on Blu-Ray courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment with a rock solid AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1. The natural color palette is presented with a crisp vibrancy that enhances the cinematography of the sterile aesthetic. Black levels are admirably deep with some strong detail in shadows. The bright whites do not seem to present any blooming in this presentation. Skin tones are natural across the entire cast with even the most minor facial details on display. The level of detail in this presentation is sure to impress, especially when it comes to the textures of M3GAN’s exterior. All of the subtle aspects of the costumes and production design are likewise razor sharp. There are no unsightly instances of aliasing or compression artifacts detectable here, but you might spot a minuscule amount of digital noise. Universal has delivered a gorgeous transfer for this Blu-Ray, even if an option for a 4K UHD Blu-Ray would have been nice.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is a force which never fails to bring this material to spectacular life. The soundscape on display here is very dynamic with a complex design from beginning to end. This film starts out a bit slower with a focus on character-based moments, but things quickly kick into gear once M3GAN boots up. The soundtrack and score hits particularly hard without being too overbearing to the competing elements.
Dialogue comes through crisp and clear with none of the information feeling lost to the sound designs. All of the effects have a terrific sense of direction within the mix with noises really springing to life. The movie uses environmental sounds to great effect, and the track retains firm detail even in the more chaotic developments. The track gives the film the weight and complexity it deserves. There are optional English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles provided.
- Unrated Cut (1:41:50) and Theatrical Cut (1:41:56)
- A New Vision Of Horror: A six-minute featurette in which the cast and creative team discuss the killer doll subgenre, how this film aims to inject some new ideas, the unique characteristics of the narrative, the location shooting, elements of the production design, the visual effects work, the look of M3GAN and more.
- Bringing Life To M3GAN: A nearly six-minute piece which further explores the titular doll including her already famous look, the various versions that needed to be constructed to suit the narrative needs, the creatives behind the puppeteering, and more that goes into bringing this horror icon to life.
- Getting Hacked: A four-minute look at how this “innocuous” doll turned into a killing machine under some screwy directives, the gore that helps bring her kills to life, the stunt work, and more that is a good bit of fun.
M3GAN made a big splash with its iconic marketing tactics to get audiences whipped into a frenzy. Unfortunately, the film itself does not quite live up to the movie that could have been. That is not to say that the movie is boring – far from it. The film is just a bit poorly paced and does not go for the jugular even in the new unrated version. It takes entirely too long to get M3GAN up and running, and many of her biggest moments were spoiled by the trailers. The attempt at genuine emotion is admirable, but the audience commands the type of chaos and camp that only comes in fits and spurts. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has released a Blu-Ray with a top-notch A/V presentation and a fair amount of special features. The film is an entertaining ride, but it needs to level up if we are getting future installments. Recommended
M3GAN will be available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 21, 2023. The film is currently available on Digital platforms.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.