M3gan: The Uncanny Valley of the Dolls
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I tell you my secret now. I see.
Speaker 2: Charlotte Grady. People know I am the father.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: What’s in the box? You got your blood locked down, You.
Dana Stevens: Oh. Hi. This is Dana Stevens, Slate’s movie critic. Here with another Slate spoiler special this week, we’re going to be talking about Meghan or M3gan, the much promoted new horror movie from Blumhouse Studios that has made quite a surprise hit in theaters for being a mid-January release. Joining me today to talk about Meghan is Jeffrey Bloomer, who is the Slate features director and longtime Slate writer contributor. Hi, Jeff. Hi. I am glad you’re here to talk with me about Meghan. I know you have strong feelings about this movie there. Positive ones for the most part, right? Yeah.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I mean, I set priorities in two ways. One, I’m a lover of the killer robot or slash doll movie, particularly dolls. Like I even watch. There’s a new Chucky TV show on sci fi, and I actually watched that. Like, I love this kind of demented junk, And this is a particularly good example. And secondly, I saw in a theater filled with people who were very much already enormous fans of this character as a physicist and for like 40 years and bringing down the house at the screening I was at. So, yes, I very much like the movie and thought I was extremely funny and fun. Not as much of a horror movie as we’ll discuss, I think, but I did think overall it was cleverly executed inversion of the kind of a familiar formula.
Dana Stevens: I totally agree. I went in thinking, Do we really need another killer doll movie? I’m going to know all the dramatic beats in this and also had an audience that absolutely loved. It’s a very crowd pleasing movie and really surprisingly smart. I think about A.I. and technology and parenting and the various themes that it brings in without being a kind of heavy handed. This is not an art horror movie, right? This isn’t The Babadook. God Bless The Babadook. It’s one of my favorite horror movies. But this is not one of those thinking movies, right? It’s very much about sensation and squealing and giggling in the moment. It’s directed by Gerald Johnston, who has a little bit of a horror resume and who I think there’s a really good job at keeping it nice and compact. And it’s written by Akeelah Cooper, who’s sort of the hot new thing in cheap horror movies. And she also wrote the malignant movies, which were, you know, really successful in this similar genre of sort of, you know, low budget and slightly campy horror. And I think it’s it’s a pretty tight script.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Totally. And she devoured the story along with James Wan, who was sort of one of the architects of the Blumhouse Heads movies like The Conjuring. He also did Insidious. He was a subversive and he luckily has like come back from the ledge on that level of like or fast. And he right now makes this like really well constructed suspense movies, but a little bit of the larger DNA of that stuff in here with I definitely distinctive and fun new voices.
Dana Stevens: Let’s actually do a little scariness rating before we get into spoiling because I think this is an important thing for listeners to know who who have a strong resistance to horror movies, which I completely understand. This movie is not that scary. And I have to say that I’m not a very hardcore horror viewer, and it was perfectly fine for me. It is much more of a comedy the way it plays onscreen than it is a horror film.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, that’s definitely true. Although I think it’s worth noting that Megan is a particularly sadistic killer when it comes time. I don’t know where that comes from and Megan’s programming, but she is like spraying like lawn chemicals on people and like ripping their ears off and stuff. So the violence is comic because it’s Megan doing it, but it’s there if you’re like particularly squeamish when we do a scary scale on like the tech side of Slate, we break it down into gore and spookiness and like jump scares. And this is pretty low on everything but the Gore medium.
Dana Stevens: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s it’s pretty tolerable, as I as I recall, the scaredy scale, which is a very useful feature on Slate, by the way, that I use all the time, ranked it it around Beetlejuice in terms of overall scariness. And I think that’s about right. Like you could take an older child to this if you had a kid with a taste for the macabre, you know, and they’re like 11, 12, 13. I think they could handle it.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I think so, too.
Dana Stevens: So let’s get into the story of Megan. It begins with a a little cold, open frame story that sets up everything to follow. Do you want to talk us through what happens to our initial heroine, a little girl named Katie, played by Violet McGraw, who’s riding in a car with her parents as the movie opens?
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, so I believe that were on like the outer grounds of Oregon Ski Resort. And the two parents are sort of bickering in the front seat. I can’t remember exactly what it is, but it’s typical parenting cliche stuff like don’t correct me, don’t talk to me like I’m a kid from the father, that sort of thing.
Dana Stevens: And about screen time, which actually becomes important later on.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yes. And in the backseat, I think kid is playing with something called a perpetual pat, which we don’t really know the significance of that yet, but she’s toying around with it and it’s becoming part of their argument. And then as they’re going on, they finally stop in the middle of the road, I believe, and they’re like, Let’s wait for someone like a snowplow to come because we can’t see anything. And they’re like, How long is that going to take? And then because is a killer doll movie, the snowplow shows up right away and takes out the parents. The kid is in the backseat, so she’s okay.
Dana Stevens: As far as a perpetual pet, something that we should have mentioned is at the very beginning before we even I think before the credits, even we see an ad, a very well done and very funny ad for the perpetual pets, which are a sort of Furby like creature, but that also have an interactive online element where you take your iPad or some kind of app and you feed the perpetual pet. And that basic functionality seems to be that you feed him virtual food until he poops. And then, you know, you laugh about it.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: It’s well-done. And I think. You kind of are getting the sense that this is also like a toy world satire in some way from that. But anyway, Katie’s parents are dad and his aunt, and it happens very suddenly and with little emotion. And then we kind of cut ahead.
Dana Stevens: Yeah. Well, then the next group of people that we learn about, Right. And we only gradually learn that this is Katie’s aunt, but we go to Allison Williams, who will actually become sort of the heroine, although in some ways the anti-heroine of the movie. Her name is Gemma and she’s a toy developer. She is apparently this super whiz AI robotics expert whose job, which she seems to be way overqualified for, is creating things like the perpetual pets. So we join her in this sort of secret room that she’s working on a new project in with a couple of people from the Funky Toy Company, a secret project that she is keeping away from her boss. We’ll learn why later. And that project is what will turn out to be at some point.
Dana Stevens: Megan, The first incarnation of Megan. We see. Well, since you’re the scary doll guy, you want to describe the first way we see Megan in the movie?
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, I’m trying to remember exactly what she’s. She’s partly assembled, basically. Right. And she doesn’t have her full face yet. Right.
Dana Stevens: So you see them put the skin on her face, which is really uncanny. Yeah.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: So Megan is a model three generative android is what it stands for. I made sure to write that down because it seemed particularly silly to me. And you’re sort of seeing a crude version of her and her very first, like awakened form. They talk about how expensive she is and why they kind of had to keep it a secret. And then the boss shows up right there in the lab, hanging out with this like crude. Megan. And you see the face go on and starts and the audience is already losing it. You really if you can see this movie in the theater, if you intend to see it, to see it with a group of people at least.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: And anyway, the boss shows up in the middle of this demonstration and they fail to hide Megan from the boss. And Megan somehow has a meltdown and her face becomes droopy, and she doesn’t really work. And they realized they forgot to put a part in her or something like that. And so the boss very firmly shuts the whole thing down and really wants the next generation of the perpetual pact, which is like a cheap juggernaut for the company, not just like Tesla level, like doll that costs about the same amount. And so the next thing we know, Katie is coming to stay with Gemma.
Dana Stevens: Right? And there’s a real ellipsis there. Like you never find out the moment that Gemma hears that her sister died. Right. And that she now is going to adopt her niece. There’s some sort of suggestion that off camera, we never meet these people. That the. The dad’s parents. Right? Katie’s grandparents wanted to adopt her, but that Gemma insisted on having her. But you never see any of that happen in front of the camera, which is somewhat odd, because it’s not really clear why this young single woman who has no parenting instinct whatsoever that we can see and is working all the time would make the case for adopting a girl who’s supposed to be about eight years old.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I think at some point they reference the sister wanting Gemma to have Katie, but I don’t know why or like how that came to be. But it becomes very clear from the beginning that Gemma is not equipped to be Katie at all.
Dana Stevens: And I think those scenes are actually quite powerful. Like, that’s the moment when the movie surprised me is that, you know, it could easily just sort of get the the relationship stuff over with, right. So I have to adopt this kid. All right.
Dana Stevens: Back to the killer doll. There’s quite a bit of time spent and some really good scenes, I think, spent on just how alienated Gemma’s life is. I mean, and that you see that in the decor of her apartment, even in her wardrobe, you know, that she is just this completely functional person who’s utterly focused on work, has no children’s books in her house, for sure, but doesn’t even seem to have any books. She has a lot of toys, but they’re collectors toys that the child can’t touch. So already I feel like there’s some things being put in place in this movie that are sort of a critique of modern, upper middle class parenting in all of its its chilly alienation and dependence on technology.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, totally. So, like, in this vacuum, I think one day I might be skipping around here because I saw the movie a little while ago, but Katie comes to the office where Gemma is working one night because was like, Can you just sit out here while I work for like a few hours and sees all these robots that really excite her? And there’s one called Bruce. I think that’s a big honking one. That was one of Gemma’s first projects.
Dana Stevens: They keep that at home, though, and that becomes important later. Bruce is in her home labs and he’s sort of a more typical, almost like a mech suit, kind of big robot guy who was, I guess, the thesis project of Gemma back when she was studying robotics.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Totally. So this is at home still and I’m still figuring it out. But I think is it the case that that’s what gives her the idea to maybe see what Katie thinks of Megan?
Dana Stevens: I think so, because that’s the moment when Katie’s face lights up, Right? Obviously, she’s depressed. Her parents have just been killed. She’s living with her weird, alienated aunt who’s not particularly warm. And. And the first time she gets a smile on her face is when she sees this robot, Bruce, kind of reach out to her. And I guess that’s what gives Gemma the idea. Oh, kids would actually enjoy having some sort of robot friend.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Right? So in a classic like, Oh, you really shouldn’t have done that move. Gemma brings Kase a lab and introduces her to the prototype. MEGAN And there’s like, a scene that they’re, like, in a funny playroom where they somehow have a viewer set up so they can look in like it’s a lab. And they have. Of Katie imprint on Megan. It’s like her one and only. Love her. Her like, sole focus as a caregiving doll, basically. And it’s like a pretty funny scene where everybody in the theater is just like, No, no, no, don’t do this. And it turns out that Megan’s really good at interacting with Katy, actually, like, empathetic and gets her kind of out of herself for the first time we see in the movie before or since her parents have died. She has two close co-workers who are kind of go along with us, even though they also think it’s a bad idea. And then from there, we’re off to the races with Megan and Katie, quickly becoming best friends.
Dana Stevens: I feel like we have to take just a moment to talk about what Megan looks like and moves like it sounds like, because I think that’s one of the most effective parts of the movie. And in large part I think it’s because and I would have to, you know, watch a featurette to know if it’s 100% practical effects. But she’s not that digital, right? I mean, she isn’t She is a combination of the voice of an actress named Jenny Davis and the body of a child dancer named Amy Donald. And and she and the way she moves, I mean, I don’t know if it was that that they coached Amy Donald to move in this way or if they digitally altered the way that she moved. But she really is effectively eerie and has the actual weight and substance of a of a real doll, a real creature. And that’s a big part, I think, of what makes her both scary and relatable.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: This is the way in the way that she looks at people and things that she doesn’t like throughout the movie. That’s like also really funny. Her eyes are like really like a combination. They look kind of like those fake contacts that you see too much on TikTok, basically. And also, if you know anything about this movie at all, you know that Megan dances. It’s the whole thing really, that Megan does that people are so thrilled about. So Universal has been sending like these like dancers in Megan outfits to like NFL games and early screenings. And so in this movie, when she starts dancing, you know that things are about to go south.
Dana Stevens: Yeah, she sings and dances, but we never heard her be programmed to do that. And that’s sort of one of the moments that you start to get this idea where Megan wants to have an existence. She wants to enjoy her life outside of her programming to protect Katy or to do, you know, whatever Gemma wants her to do.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s when you start seeing her, Megan, performing those kinds of behaviors that probably were not part of her official sort of programming is when you know, things are about to go sideways.
Dana Stevens: So in a classic Frankenstein creating Frankenstein’s monster mistake, Gemma made Katy learn. And we see her learning, sort of learning the intricacies of human emotion and what it would take to make Katy happy, etc. fulfilling her prime directive of making this girl happy and protecting her. But she doesn’t seem to have had a lot of moral qualms built into her her setup. So we’re actually pretty far into the movie before Megan commits her first act of violence, which is not quite a murder, although it does result in a death.
Dana Stevens: Do you want to talk about the first person who dies at Megan’s hands?
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Well.
Dana Stevens: Before there’s a person, though, there’s.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, I was going to say. And another classic horror movie trope. There’s a dog next door that’s a little too aggressive and, like, biting under the fence. And the second you see this dog early in the movie, you’re like, Oh, boy. And so this dog does snap at Katie or perhaps bites her, I can’t remember. And that’s how and that’s finally when we see Megan sort of activate and the fur falls form and she dispatches the dog in the night and the dog just disappears.
Dana Stevens: But we never do see her kill the dog. If dog death really traumatizes you, it happens off screen. Yeah, that’s the trigger. It’s happened.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I’ll admit I’ll out myself as someone who finds that kind of thing hard. But in this movie, it’s so silly, and the dog really is a jerk. So anyway, so the first person basically at some point, Gemma, is like Gemma says, Katie, we got to go to school and Katie doesn’t want to go. She finds her that’s like, like kind of woo woo school. That’s like where they just like, hang outside all day. I don’t exactly remember the details because.
Dana Stevens: She was homeschooled previously, right? I mean, there’s that’s a little bit more, I think, poking fun at parenting trends. Right. Because Katie has never been to a proper school. She was homeschooled by her parents. And so, yeah, they find her this very crunchy. Let’s go to the woods and, I don’t know, hunt mushrooms together kind of school. Yeah.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: And so Katie insists on bringing Megan over Gemma’s protests because at this point, I think Gemma’s art is starting to get a little wary. People like the psychiatrist that’s involved in the situation is starting to say to her, like, I don’t know if this is great for Katie’s grief, blah, blah, blah. They end up bringing Megan to the school and they put her into the toy pile. But then Katie starts playing with a little boy there. The little boy is it’s a classic. Should have look at your arm and you just know that is going to end up being like bad to Katie in some way and they end up out in the woods and he starts saying really awful things to her. I can’t remember exactly what, but like, like violent, like, fantasies basically, that the kid is playing out. If I recall, it was harsher than I was expecting.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: And then, of course, Megan shows up and Megan is like, not into it at all. And the boy goes up to Megan is like, What is that? And like, maybe strikes her or that does something to Megan that he shouldn’t have done. And then Megan responds by grabbing his ear and literally pulling his earlobe open and off of his face. And it’s this moment where it sounds disgusting and horrific. But of course, everybody loved it. And Emily and it’s pretty funny.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: And then Megan sort of looks at the kid and is like, you should probably rotten. And so the kid starts running away and. Megan starts chasing him like a wild animal. Somehow she gets on all fours and runs faster that way for some reason. And then as they get to the edge of, like, the forest where there’s a road. Megan I don’t know if she pushes the kid or just runs him to the edge, but he goes out directly in front of a car and they totally take out this little boy. It’s like, pretty brutal, but still within the realm of dark comedy. And then no one really saw Megan do this, though. They’re all just very shaken. Not that this boy is Dad, but like, the next thing you see, they’re back at home and she’s like, What a horrible thing Janet is. And Kate is like, Hmm, Yeah, like, what actually happened? You don’t know. She does. She does not mention that Megan came out to interact with the boy.
Dana Stevens: And the cops, I think if I remember right, are starting to get some sense that something weird is going on because Gemma and Katie show up. Well, they’re there both when the boy is hit by a car and dies. And they were also questioned earlier about the dog’s disappearance because the neighbor has been complaining about that. So they’re sort of wondering, you know, what’s going on here. There’s also some mention of another little girl who lives in the house, which is, of course, Megan, who can be seen through the window. But there’s this whole kind of mystery throughout as to, you know, whether there’s another kid there. Jeff, I’m going to stop you for just a moment for a word from our sponsor this week.
Dana Stevens: All right, back to Megan. All right, Jeff. So as of now, Megan has been responsible only for the death of a dog, which happens off screen and the sort of murder, but really just pulling off the ear of this boy who subsequently is killed. But now we’re getting to the good stuff. Megan’s actual first murder of a human happens fairly late in the movie. I would say about two thirds of the way through or so. Do you want to take it away and describe that one?
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: The neighbor of one. The dog really is not letting the dogs go. She’s sort of a very sour woman who seems like a terrible neighbor. And Megan kind of like has her eye on her. I think for most of the movie, I think at one point the neighbor comes up to them and really like sort of violently accuses them of taking the dog, maybe gets a little grabby. It’s definitely accusatory and sort of involves the girl. And Megan does not abide anyone threatening Katie directly.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Later that night, Megan comes out and starts making dog noises. The noises of the dog, who she must have recorded previously to lure the woman outside. The woman eventually follows the sounds back into her garden shed for Megan meets her and has like a charming confrontation where she, like, is like, Hi, I’m Megan. And then immediately sprays her with, like, a really intense garden poison hose. And then, like, maybe staple guns her a bunch or something like Megan really does as a creative killer. And then she goes home, obviously, the next morning or very soon after, I believe the cops are back and there’s another dead body. Now they’re really starting to get suspicious because people keep dying and dogs around these people. And I think this is when Gemma starts to get real actually suspicious.
Dana Stevens: Right. And she actually does some investigating of Megan’s interior, Right. She goes and looks at her at the logs, the video logs that she’s supposed to be, I guess, recording of everything she sees. So there’s this actual spot in the cloud where she can go look at different days and what was filmed on almost like her body cam. Right. Megan’s body cam. But that’s when it starts to become clear that Megan is becoming sentient and getting her own ideas about what she wants to do because she’s erased the video logs from the key days of the boy’s death, the dogs disappearance, etc..
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Right. And Megan, like, can also tell that Gemma’s up to something because she shows up when Gemma is looking for these logs being like, Hi, Gemma, what’s going on? And Gemma’s like, What do you want? And she’s like, Oh, I can’t sleep. Occupational hazard. And they go, and there’s like, weird back and forth where, like, they obviously know about each other’s intentions, and that’s when the sort of climax comes into motion.
Dana Stevens: Because Gemma basically decides it’s not safe for Katy to be around this doll anymore. She then breaks Katie’s heart by taking the doll away and, you know, wrapping her up in plastic, taking her back to funky headquarters. But still, the product launch is being planned, and the boss, who has now has dollar signs in his eyeballs because he realizes what a hit Megan is going to be is really pushing them to get ready in time for this this big launch. So that is what’s going to set up the the big sequence at Funky Headquarters, which, by the way, everything about the design and the sort of the imagining of that toy company, I think is just a great again, sort of a satire of the modern tech company, the way it’s laid out.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: So around this time, they are headed toward this final launch and Gemma is like at the headquarters and sees Katie in a video up on the screen talking about the death of her parents and how Megan helped her get through it. And she realizes that she kind of fucked up, right? Like, so she starts to feel bad about that. And Katie is there for this corporate launch because she wants you know, they want everyone to see her interact with Megan. And Gemma’s like, No. So she takes the doll upstairs, the doll supposedly decommissioned, but you can imagine that that’s not actually the case and takes Katie out of there. And it’s like, I’m going to be your parent. I’m taking you out of this corporate situation. And so it’s getting her out of there. But Megan, of course, is not actually turned off.
Dana Stevens: So then begins the rampage at Funky Headquarters, which was one of the biggest squeal filled parts of the movie when when I was watching it. I mean, I don’t need to get into every detail of what happens, but essentially, Megan has acquired sentience to the point where you can’t really shut her down. And so she breaks out of her plastic wrapping. She first attempts but fails to kill the two assistants that Gemma has been working with. Who are these fairly minor characters, but you know, they’re good guys. We don’t want to see them completely bite it and then goes on a rampage through funky headquarters.
Dana Stevens: And I think maybe the biggest slasher movie kind of moment in Megan occurs when she finally runs into the corporate spy, the boss’s right hand man and the boss himself, who by now we really have learned, is kind of a soulless creep, right? So we’re perfectly happy for him to get slaughtered. And if you’ve seen the ubiquitous marketing campaign for Megan, you know, the scene where she’s sort of dancing in a in a hallway with, I believe, a knife or some kind of weapon, That’s the moment when she’s busting out and is about to kill that boss and his assistant.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah. So it’s an awesome dance. I think that she uses, though, like the edge of a paper cutter, like one of those big corporate paper cutters and rips it off and starts just chasing him around with it. It’s pretty amazing. I can’t really exactly remember the sequence of events, but she at one point, she kills him. Definitely. He almost gets away. Maybe in an elevator. She really lets him have it. And then the assistant is also gets involved somehow so that the assistant have it. It’s a bloody mess in the elevator. Megan wants to get back to Katie, so she, like, takes the elevator down where the big launch is happening and they’re waiting for them to arrive and they open up the elevator and there’s just carnage everywhere. And Megan just, like, slips out, everyone screaming, and she’s just like Florida and, like, leaves.
Dana Stevens: And gets in a car. I love that moment because Megan’s really small, right? I mean, she’s probably about as big as a six year old kid or something like that. But there just happens to be this fancy sports car. It’s probably the bosses car parked outside. And, you know, in her sort of omnipotent way, I guess she can somehow start this car. But somehow watching the dog get in the car and drive away back to Gemma’s house was just that was a that was a big moment for the crowd. I saw.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: It. Oh, classic.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: So we’re back at the house, then she goes to the house to like where Gemma and Katie are sort of making up. Katie’s maybe realizing that she that Gemma was right about Megan because she’s been trying to explain to her that Megan did some bad things.
Dana Stevens: Well, there’s a big part where she’s sort of keeping Gemma hostage, right? I mean, she’s making it really clear that if Gemma lets Katie know that she’s there in the house, that she will probably do away with both of them. So as a result, she’s kind of gets her to tell Katie that everything’s okay and tell her to stay in your room. You know, it’s perfectly fine that there’s a doll out here threatening me.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: There’s, like, long exchanges that are funny in this part, and maybe Megan’s playing the piano at one point. But in any case, they end up back in the robot lab at home, like she has got a little workshop, basically. And I think that it’s at this point that Megan is trying. Megan has decided that, okay, now Gemma has to go, and she’s trying to convince Katie that it’s okay. And Megan has this, like, way of being able to read people’s emotions, like if they’re feeling fear or if they’re feeling anxious or what. And all of a sudden, the emotions look less like they’re afraid of Megan and more like they’re like, feeling guilty because obviously, as you well see, they play where that maybe Katie wants Megan to kill Gemma and so she can go off into the sunset with Megan. But there’s a reversal and I think somehow there’s some commotion, but they end up exposing Megan’s while Bruce gets involved.
Dana Stevens: Right. And that’s. And that’s Katie’s move. There’s a moment when Gemma is pinned underneath something, right? Megan is threatening to either kill her or paralyze her, which is a creepy moment when she says, You know, I can. I can make you just a kind of a vegetable so you’ll be unable to to care for your niece. And at this point, there’s there’s a real bond between the two. So Megan is also playing on that, you know, and playing on her fear of not being able to take care of Katie, but the person who’s able to save her from this thing she’s pinned underneath is good old Bruce, the robot that she made back in robotics school, which Katie managed to get these gloves, these virtual gloves that you use to remotely order Bruce around. And and Bruce comes in. I think he frees Gemma and then he tries to do away with Megan, but he doesn’t succeed. Right? She’s got one of the classic monster pop back moments when we think she’s dead, but she’s actually not.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, and I think that somehow Gemma manages to expose that ship in the back of her head. And this is like the double moment when you realize that Katie has chosen Shallow because she stabs around the chip in her head, and now Megan is finally officially turned off. And then sort of I think the cops are on their way. And then there’s an important moment in any horror movie, particularly a killer doll movie where there’s a hint of a sequel. And what is that?
Dana Stevens: Well, I guess it’s a hint of a sequel. I thought maybe it was just a comment on technology in general, because throughout this movie, remember we were saying that that Gemma’s apartment is this very wired, you know, very much of a techies apartment. She’s got this Alexa like device in her house called Elsie that she’s been talking to the whole time, you know, to turn on lights and do this and that. And it’s just sort of before is just sort of been a satire of, you know, what what a yuppie home she has. But at the end, you’re right. The very last thing you see as they’re leaving the house with the cops is the globe shaped center of Elsie is turning to look at them, which I guess some people interpreted. Maybe you did, too, as the idea that Megan is now as she’s everywhere. I thought it was just more like whether Megan is there or not, whether or not you have a killer doll. You’re already living in this surveillance state where technology is, you know, observing you all the time.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I think that is very, very generous to this movie. But maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s both. But throughout the movie, there’s been little moments where Megan, like, walked by an electric box that’s not connected to her. Just make it blow up. Like she’s obviously, like hot. Her wife is really shooting off and like, infecting various things. So I think that they were implying that Megan won’t be back for more carnage. But I think that you’re right. This movie does make some fairly smart satirical points about home technology and things like that and the bigger picture around parents and screens. And I think that like it’s above average intelligence for a movie like this, I’d say.
Dana Stevens: Yeah, it does. It does more than it needs to do in terms of, you know, thinking about things besides, am I am I not going to be killed by Megan while making that a very, you know, an important question at all times? I would watch a sequel to this for sure. It was tons more fun than I expected it to be.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, like, as far as the killer doll fans among us go, this is like sort of like the ultimate synthesis of like Chucky becoming a comedic figure as opposed to the original child’s play, where he was actually very scary at some point. I think this movie is just became so undergirded with humor that this is like the natural and point of that. I don’t think they’re ever going to make a funnier movie about a murderous life size doll than Megan.
Dana Stevens: Will Jeffrey I would say when M3gan comes out, will you come spoil it with me? But very sadly, this is perhaps the last spoiler special. At the very least, it’s the last one for some time. Because the show is going on indefinite hiatus. Maybe it will come back. It’s been on hiatus before and come back, but if and when it does, please come back and spoil another movie with me.
Jeff, Jeffrey Bloomer: I’ll be here. Thank you, Dana.
Dana Stevens: Here’s loyal as Megan, but not quite as creepy. And that’s it for this Slate spoiler special. And for now, for the Slate Spoiler special. I hope it will be back. If not, you can listen to us and read us elsewhere on Slate. So thanks for being a listener and I hope to talk to you again soon. Our producer today is Christy Taiwo Mack, and jeweler Ben Richmond is our engineer. And Alicia montgomery is the vice president of audio at Slate for Jeffrey Bloomer. I’m Dana Stevens. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll talk to you again someday.