'M3GAN' puts a modern spin on creepy doll horrors

Creepy doll movies are not new in Hollywood, with classics like ‘Child’s Play’ and ‘Annabelle.’ But what happens when the doll isn’t possessed by a demon but is instead a robot programmed to protect its owner at all costs? Enter M3GAN. Directed by Gerard Johnstone, M3GAN follows a young girl, Cady (Violet McGraw), who, after losing her parents in a car accident, goes to live with her workaholic aunt, Gemma (Allison Williams). Gemma builds Cady a robot doll named M3GAN, hailed as a groundbreaking invention, but it soon turns into an absolute nightmare.

Movies like this often have very predictable plotlines, but M3GAN stands out by exploring the chilling lengths to which this doll will go. You’ll genuinely feel icked or scared by this cyborg doll. Unlike Chucky or Annabelle, M3GAN doesn’t have a menacing look; instead, she carries out her killings with a sassy demeanour.
The doll is programmed to obey both Cady and Gemma, but M3GAN ends up forming a strong bond with Cady, one that should have been with Gemma. Cady becomes deeply attached to M3GAN, wanting to spend all her time with the doll.

As the audience, we feel uneasy watching their relationship evolve, especially as Cady becomes increasingly violent to stay close to M3GAN. This dynamic reflects real-life human dependence on AI, showing how we struggle to live without technology, even something as common as our mobile phones. This lifelike AI turning against its creators taps into fears of losing control over technology. M3GAN’s independent and violent behaviour escalates the tension, showcasing the horror of a creation turning rogue. The film also includes scenes of violence and gore, as M3GAN perceives certain individuals as threats and acts out violently against them, adding a visceral element to the fear.

The storyline often follows a predictable trajectory where the seemingly beneficial creation gradually reveals its darker, more dangerous side. Audiences who are well-versed in this genre might anticipate the plot twists and outcomes, making the movie feel like a retread of familiar ground rather than a fresh take on the AI-gone-wrong narrative.