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“M3GAN” turns the classic haunted doll genre on its head

(Photo courtesy of IMDb) “M3GAN” will surprise fans of similar stories with a fresh spin on the concept that is sure to keep people on their toes.

Valentina Munoz Roa
Connector Contributor

The sci-fi, horror “M3GAN” has taken the media by storm. Anyone with social media, a phone or even a TV has undoubtedly seen advertisements for the creepy doll. There have been real-life “M3GAN” dolls in attendance at football games to terrorize the media, and even vlog-like videos from M3GAN herself published as AD videos on YouTube and TikTok. The doll’s iconic dance has been seen by many across different platforms, but what sets this movie apart from the rest of the scary dolls in the horror genre? Does she live up to the Chucky and Annabelle levels of infamy? Will M3GAN be this generation’s creepy doll to haunt their dreams?  

Right out of the gate, the acting in this film was impressive. Jenna Davis and Amie Donald, who lent their voice and body to the doll, respectively, were real standouts. These two actresses brought the robot to life. There were aspects of both actresses, especially the young actress, Amie Donald, that drew the audience into believing the producers used an actual robot. Donald’s coordinated, isolated movements made M3GAN distinct from the human characters. On top of this, the rest of the cast did a remarkable job filling their roles.  

The plot of “M3GAN” can absolutely be described as a unique standout in the horror genre. In a world where possessed dolls reign supreme, seeing a different type of doll introduced onto the table is refreshing. When comparing it to other sci-fi movies, though, there is a familiarity to the plot in that an AI robot learns more from the world than they’re supposed to, overriding its program and killing “bad” people. It is so well-fitting in these tropes that one student from UMass Lowell even went as far as to say, “It’s a good parody [of] ‘Terminator.’” One can say that the difference from all the other evil robot plots is the primary bond that forms between M3GAN and Cady, a young girl who she protects. UMass Lowell students Rami Hammoud and Javier Solares state how much they like the movie because of the new horror sci-fi concept the directors took. This is especially because it takes the warnings sci-fi movies often give us about the future of robots taking over and presents them in a gorier fashion.  

There are some jump scares in the movie, but it’s not necessarily a horror movie in the purest sense. Experiences may vary, but this film does not seem quite as horrifying as others, with “sci-fi thriller” likely being the most accurate description of its genre. It’s a much tamer, sci-fi version of other creepy doll films like “Annabelle” and “The Boy.” The supposed “horror” is overshadowed by the insertion of comedic relief scenes in the film. One second you are watching M3GAN displaying her lack of moral code, and in the next, you will see her singing “Titanium” as a lullaby to Cady. There is some gore throughout, but nothing all that excessive. The “comedy” scenes in the movie are what really made this product stand out in the bunch.   

The idea of using technology to introduce a creepy, killer doll to life on the big screen is a first of its kind. Although there are bits in pieces that make it stand out from the rest of the killer dolls in the horror genre, especially incorporating AI technology into the plot; it still didn’t meet the hype of other killing dolls like Chucky. It was a great idea but executed blandly. The marketing team spent more time advertising it to the public, which hyped the movie up but didn’t meet the horror expectations.  


Grade: B- 

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