One of the lessons the science fiction genre has always been giving us is that robots are evil. In the dystopian world, mankind is controlled by artificial intelligence. People desperately crave the human touch, while the machines make everything bleak through destruction. Now that AI technology like ChatGPT is here and threatening to take the jobs of hardworking writers (even actors are suffering because of facial recognition software), machines are also starting to emerge as our new enemy in the real world. They are no longer confined to fictional movies and novels. In films like M3GAN and now Margaux, the AI is converted into a bloodthirsty killer. What we get is your usual dumb slasher, but the mask-wearing, chainsaw-wielding monster is replaced with a computer code.
In Margaux, the titular foe is integrated into a smart home. Who built this Siri-like software? It's never explained to us. Why does it kill humans? There is a nonsensical reason for this behavior. One of the characters, too, agrees that it's all dumb, which might be the movie's way of acknowledging how stupid it is. But Margaux considers this acknowledgment to be fun, while we merely see it as laziness. I don't know why these bad movies think that they will automatically become good if they point out how dim-witted they are. The only interesting thing about Margaux is that the AI here is voiced by Susan Bennett - the woman who gave her voice to Siri. She makes you chuckle when she says, "Fuck me," after failing to kill a man with fire. Still, the most (unintentionally) funny thing about Margaux is that it wants to show machines are wicked, and yet, its screenplay seems to be written by a language model who has been fed data from all the slasher films and then asked to generate a script with AI as the serial killer.
This is why the first person who dies in Margaux is a woman who has sex with her boyfriend. Yes, the virgin girl defeats the AI system (or does she?). More unintentional humor arrives through that final shot of a melting clone. It wants to be emotional and significant, and it directly contradicts the opening death scene, where a head explodes almost cartoonishly. The former reaches for some depth, while the latter signals the beginning of something exaggerated and empty-headed. Margaux mostly walks on the dumb yet fun route, and if you align yourself to its wavelength, you can chuckle during irregular intervals, like when Lexi (Vanessa Morgan) angrily mentions that she is the brand ambassador of an extension. And what about the fact that the artificial intelligence in Margaux is also bored with that cliché where a boy and a girl continue to suppress their feelings for each other until the climax?
But the main issue with the movie is that you are unable to fully surrender to its daft vision. It wants you to admire its visual conception (tentacle-like hands coming out of a table and serving drinks to the guests) and smile at its lowbrow humor. However, you mentally check out of the film when Lexi almost drowns in the swimming pool, and she and her friends casually start playing truth or dare within a few seconds after this incident (one of them suggests they should run away, but this option is instantly discarded). Such idiotic characters only cause disengagement. Their flesh and bones are merely used for carnage. Forget the college nerds. The AI system is supposed to be clever, yet it fails to produce more clones to tackle its opponents (this is precisely how the machine is "defeated").
The more you think about this film, the more it collapses. Director Steven C. Miller isn't able to override the flaws with dumb fun. The biggest compliment one can give Margaux is that it's watchable. You will either reject or laugh at its ridiculousness. But you will never be bored. Come to think of it, this is not much of a compliment.
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