M3GAN doesn’t need an R rating to terrify moviegoers, according to its filmmakers.
Two of the producers behind the upcoming horror film, Jason Blum and James Wan, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why it’s a “cautionary tale” about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
When asked about some people expressing disappointment online that M3GAN landed a PG-13 rating (for violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference), Blum said see the movie before judging it.
“Some of the scariest movies of all time are PG-13, so I don’t put too much stock in the bellyaching,” said Blum, 53. “Go see the movie and then tell me about it.”
Wan, 45, has directed R-rated films like The Conjuring, Saw spirit Malignant plus PG-13 titles like Insidious. He said, “I think it’s about whatever is most suitable for the film, and even though M3GAN is a scary movie, teenagers will really dig this. They’ll really like it, and I think it will speak to them in a big way.”
“Yes, that’s right,” added Blum, the producer behind films like Get Out, Paranormal Activity, Happy Death Day and more. “We wanted teenagers to be able to see the movie, ultimately.”
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M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone, is about an 8-year-old orphan Cady (Violet McGraw) living with her Aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), who invents a life-like doll meant to be a child’s perfect companion. After Cady becomes emotionally attached to M3GAN, the AI doll quickly becomes violent and defies her programming.
Wan also told THR why he thinks horror movies tend to perform well in theatres, citing the communal experience of seeing a scary film in a dark cinema.
“With horror movies, you tend to want to see it in a dark setting, whereas comedy can be seen at home in a brighter setting with family. Generally, comedies tend to be more family-oriented, while horror films are a great date movie ,” Wan said.
“So, if the young people are the ones who go out to the theatres, that’s the kind of stuff they want to go see with their friends,” he added. “They want to be able to scream and get scared by a film, and then laugh at the funny bits to break the tension. Horror films really give you that roller-coaster experience, and the theater is really where you get the best experience. ”
M3GAN is in theaters Jan. 6.