M3GAN: An upgrade to your average killer doll movie

“She’s the toy to replace all other toys.” At least that’s what everyone thought before she began killing anyone who got in her owner’s way.

On Jan. 6, Gerard Johnstone’s M3GAN was released for horror and comedy lovers alike to enjoy. This movie deals with important themes of emotional childhood development and trauma rehabilitation all while providing the audience with numerous laugh-worthy moments and anxiety-inducing jumpscares to balance it out. 

M3GAN follows Gemma (Allison Williams), a roboticist at a toy company, and her robotic creation. After her sister’s tragic death, she gains custody of her niece Cady (Violet McGraw) and creates a lifelike, dancing and artificially-intelligent robot named M3GAN (short for Model 3 Generative Android) to serve as a friend for Cady. However, the robot quickly develops self-awareness and becomes hostile towards anyone who poses a threat to Cady.

I wasn’t expecting much more than another cheesy, ridiculous attempt at a horror movie, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie’s anything but ordinary advertisements really set the stage for a unique and fulfilling viewing experience.

The marketing for this movie was truly spectacular. The first trailer was posted on Oct. 11, and contained clips of M3GAN performing what appears to be choreographed dances before slaughtering her victims. These odd clips quickly became memes all across Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook which led to viewers’ heightened curiosity about the film.

M3GAN was advertised as a horror/sci-fi movie, however, I would add comedy to the list. The subtle, but effective jokes and themes throughout the movie elicited numerous audible laughs and satisfied claps from the whole audience. 

However, this lighthearted side to the movie doesn’t take away from its frightening and chilling core. The shocking jumpscares and overall creepy theme make this a movie that most horror lovers would enjoy.

Aside from the movie’s comedic genius and eerie features, the quality of this film truly speaks for itself. Both Williams and McGraw perfectly portray the complicated relationship between a woman who never expected to be a mother and a girl struggling with the death of her parents. As these two are forced into each other’s lives we can see the changing dynamics in their relationship which creates a strong sense of realism in a movie that would otherwise feel shallow.

In addition to the acting, both the body (Amie Donald) and voice (Jenna Davis) of M3GAN played a role in bringing this four foot tall robot to life on screen. The realistic body language and voice of a young girl paired with a robotic face led to an uncanny and chilling experience anytime M3GAN came on screen.

Overall, M3GAN serves as so much more than your average killer doll horror movie. Between the notable themes, jolting scare tactics and subtle yet enjoyable humor, M3GAN is truly a movie for anyone to enjoy.