When it comes to January film success stories, you can’t do much better than “M3GAN.” Gerard Johnstone’s AI-gone-wrong movie, which boasted a script from horror heavyweights James Wan and Akela Cooper, rode a wave of strong reviews and viral dance videos to become a box office-topping cultural phenomenon. In addition to proving that January releases don’t have to suck, it arguably gave rise to the first true Gen Z horror character. After all, there had been a million movies about creepy dolls — but as the marketing campaign was determined to remind us, this one could slay.
Amid all of the viral success, Cooper revealed that the film was almost a lot darker. While many of her gorier ideas were scrapped to maintain a PG-13 rating and keep characters alive for future sequels, she promised that an unrated cut of the film was on the way. Those plans finally came to fruition this weekend, as the unrated version of “M3GAN” is now streaming on Peacock. The running time is almost identical to the theatrical cut, leading many fans to wonder what was added. If you’re on the fence about streaming the unrated cut this weekend, keep reading for a breakdown of the major differences between the two versions.
This is probably what you came for… and you’re probably going to be disappointed. The unrated cut of “M3GAN” promised to be gorier and more violent — which is technically true, but you’d never notice that if you weren’t actively looking for it. There aren’t any new scenes that were too hot for the theatrical release, and the unrated cut mostly just waits a few more seconds before cutting away from each of M3GAN’s kills. We get to spend more time watching her rip a kid’s ear off and spray her pesky neighbor’s face with a hose until she bleeds, but the end result is pretty much the same. Sometimes there’s a little additional blood, but certainly nothing to write home about.
What’s new in the unrated cut of “M3GAN”? If you asked one of the characters, they’d probably say “not fucking much.” Like any law-abiding PG-13 movie, “M3GAN” only featured one F-bomb when it played in theaters last month. The unrated cut ups that number considerably by featuring eight uses of the forbidden word. Most of those take place at Gemma’s office, which makes for a much more accurate depiction of tech bros berating their minions. M3GAN herself also gets to say “fuck” at a key moment in the film’s final battle, which probably would have been a better allocation of the one profanity allowed in the theatrical cut.
At the end of the day there just isn’t that much of a difference between the two cuts. There’s certainly no need to carve time out of your busy schedule to watch the unrated version. That said, if you’re watching “M3GAN” for the first time (or were already planning a rewatch), the unrated cut is a marginally better experience. M3GAN’s best kills are given slightly more time in the spotlight, and there’s none of that awkward PG-13 movie dialogue where everyone has to avoid saying “fuck” despite that clearly being the word they want to use.
Sure, anyone hoping to see new adventures from the murderous robot will have to wait until the sequel hits theaters in 2025. But if anything, the lack of new material is a sign that the film got it right the first time. “M3GAN” was a critically acclaimed PG-13 horror hit, providing the kind of well-executed dumb fun that every January release should aspire to. Fans should take comfort in knowing that the film wasn’t a victim of studio interference, as everything that should have been included in the theatrical cut pretty much was. And if you end up streaming the unrated cut and being disappointed, at least you got to watch “M3GAN” again! There are far worse fates in this world.