M3GAN's Unrated Cut: 7 Big Differences From The Theatrical Version
Is this new version an upgrade, or merely a collection of spare parts?
Warning: SPOILERS from M3GAN are in play. If you haven’t seen either version of the film, you’ve been warned.
Universal and Blumhouse landed the first hit of the 2023 new movie releases thanks to the sensation that is M3GAN. Director Gerard Johnstone and writer Akela Cooper delivered a horror-comedy that’s a sharp PG-13 satire enjoyed by teens and adults alike. Which, of course, almost assured that there was an unrated cut destined for release; something that Cooper confirmed as the film was hitting its theatrical stride.
As both versions of M3GAN are now available to watch with a Peacock subscription, we can now compare the two and separate the big differences between them. So consider this the last call for those of you who don’t want to run into any spoilers, lest you upset M3GAN. If you need to jump out to enjoy this colorful madness, you now know where to go.
Those of you ready to split hairs, rip some ears and learn all the differences between these two versions of M3GAN can stay put. It’s time to dance our way into what’s so different about this new cut, and why it’s worth watching.
M3GAN’s Big Attacks Are Noticeably Gorier
The short short version of what makes M3GAN’s unrated cut different comes down to the two traditional vices of horror movies: blood and swearing. There isn’t a huge tidal wave of bloody mayhem in this new version, if that’s what you’re looking for. In terms of the bloody content in Blumhouse’s latest horror hit, it’s also more about quality versus quantity.
While M3GAN physically kills all but one of her victims, there’s more blood present in those violent delights of the unrated version. Turning these moments into slightly more visceral affairs cranks up the horror and excitement a little more, but doesn’t substantially change the movie. If there’s anything that more notably tweaks the tone, it’s the profanity that’s added back in.
There’s Substantially More Swearing, With David Getting Some Of The Best Moments
Everyone knows that in a PG-13 movie, you can only have so much blood, and one usage of the word “fuck.” That happens to be the swear word of choice in the unrated cut of M3GAN, while in the theatrical cut we only hear the vicious Brandon (Jack Cassidy) use that word. According to a contributor for Movie-Censorship.com, there are 12 F-bombs in the newly released version, versus the singular usage in that PG-13 theatrical cut.
Shifting into the world of the unrated, the F-bombs fly more frequently, with Funki Toys CEO David (Ronny Chieng) using that word to the best effect. Moments of frustration and victory play even better with David throwing around these increased instances of profanity. The MVP moment that showcases this is when M3GAN takes a line from Chieng’s character and improves it as follows::
Adding in the swearing isn’t some gratuitous decision, as there’s quite a bit of thinking that’s gone into where those extra profanities go. What also makes M3GAN’s unrated version worth watching is the bloodier, and more detailed kills. Which, in some cases, do happen to take place near an instance of choice swearing. More on that later, as it’s time to get into the gory details.
More Blood Is Present When M3GAN Rips Brandon’s Ear Off
One thing that always kind of felt weird in M3GAN was the moment where the title character pulls Brandon’s ear off in the woods. Blood is shown in the aftermath of that incident, but the actual removal itself is a bit too clinical. Going unrated sees Brandon’s former hearing organ becoming a bit of a gusher more befitting of the blood we see covering the wound just moments later.
Oh, and don’t mind that smear of Brandon’s blood on the road. That’s in both versions of M3GAN, so we don’t have to talk about that. Interestingly enough, bloody aftermaths are the specialty of the PG-13 cut, rather than showing some of the film’s more violent acts in greater detail. The late neighbor of Gemma (Allison Williams) and Cady (Violet McGraw) could speak to that point quite intimately, except the unrated version makes that a bit harder.
Celia’s Deadly Face Peel
One of the conflicts that gets under M3GAN’s silicone skin is the one that takes place between Gemma and her neighbor Celia (Lori Dungey). An opening in the fence between their properties leads to little Cady having an incident where Celia’s dog Dewey bites her arm. M3GAN uses that moment to justify killing the dog, and it eventually leads to her killing the ever-suspicious Celia.
M3GAN’s method of choice in this killing was a power washer, which one would expect to leave some marks we don’t see in the theatrical version. The version of events we saw in the PG-13 cut shifts to a puddle of red-tinted water washing into the gutter as the sign that Celia is no more. In M3GAN’s unrated cut, however, we see the soon to be dead neighbor’s face tear open a bit because of said power washer. Not only is this more scientifically accurate, it’s definitely more harrowing to watch.
David's Death Leaves A Lot More Evidence
Going back to another choice moment of Ronny Chieng’s David swearing to comedic effect, he drops another perfectly placed F-bomb when chastising Gemma (Allison Williams) in his final phone call. The moment takes place right before the scene that inspired the iconic M3GAN dance meme takes place, with our killer doll disassembling a paper cutter so that she has a blade to stalk her prey with.
As you’ll see in both versions, David meets his end by M3GAN's trusty steel in the same way, at the same moment. The big difference is, the unrated version scores another win for more realistic, and visually appealing, carnage.
When M3GAN kills David in the doorway to the elevator, it’s clean as a whistle in the PG-13 version. Her blade still has blood on it, but we don’t see poor Kurt (Stephane Garneau-Monten) showered in the aftermath. Though we see a bloodied elevator scene from a distance in the theatrical cut, the unrated gives us a blood-soaked take on M3GAN’s framing of Kurt afterwards. This on its own leads to another huge difference.
We Actually See Kurt Die On Screen, And In A Different Fashion
Oh poor Kurt. If only he hadn’t tried to sell company secrets and wasn’t in the elevator when M3GAN killed David, he may have lived. But as we saw in PG-13 Land, Kurt is made to look like he stabbed himself through the neck in order to cover M3GAN’s tracks. The resulting death isn’t shown on screen, as we only see the robot’s hands push the blade in Kurt’s direction.
Meanwhile, the unrated version of M3GAN amps up the blood yet again. Kurt’s neck now gets sliced with the improvised blade M3GAN took from a paper cutter, and we see the effects. A not-so-healthy gush of blood comes out, leaving Kurt to his always fatal fate. That about wraps it for the additions of gory violence added back into this James Wan-produced horror show, although there’s one last bit of swearing we’d like to close things out on.
M3GAN Gets An F-Bomb Of Her Own
Look, if you’re an evil doll with an attitude, you’re going to probably want to swear yourself. Not to reopen the whole “M3GAN vs. Chucky” debate, but that’s one factor the new Universal challenger would have failed if it was one we’d used to judge the competition.
At least, it would have been without the advent of M3GAN’s unrated cut. During the third act climax where M3GAN has Gemma by the throat, she warns her human creator to keep her young niece in her room. The warning she delivers without a PG-13 changes into this now extra punchy line:
M3GAN wasn’t playing round in her theatrical version, and she’s certainly not pulling any punches now that she’s off the leash. It’s kind of amazing that Universal has released this version to the world, especially so quickly after the movie made itself a theatrical success story. How this new, meaner version of M3GAN affects what we know about M3GAN 2.0 is still unknown.
What we can say though is that we should all hope for that next chapter to be submitted to the same careful decision making process the first runaway hit saw in play. Besides, whatever doesn’t make the theatrical version can go into the unrated cut, and that’s part of the fun when revisiting a movie like this on streaming and home entertainment.
For now, enjoy M3GAN however you choose on Peacock! Or, if you’re a physical media fan, look for the home entertainment release of the M3GAN Unrat3d Version on March 21st.
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