‘M3GAN’ sets high bar for horror genre



M3GAN paints a disturbing picture of AI technology.

Jamie Sullivan, Contributing Writer

The horror genre is far from being without movies about killer dolls. From “Child’s Play” to “Annabelle,” fans don’t have to look far to find something that will make them scared of their toys. However, viewers were introduced to a new player in the game this past January with the release of Blumhouse’s newest film, “M3GAN.” The film follows its eponymous character, an artificially intelligent doll, who begins to show signs of self-awareness and is not afraid of crossing any line if it means she can protect her owner. As M3GAN begins to grow more dangerous, her creator, Gemma, must figure out a way to put a stop to the madness.  


One detail that helps “M3GAN” stand out from other recent horror films is its willingness to embrace the genre’s capability of being campy. The film’s biggest strength lies in the script, written by Akela Cooper, as it mixes a perfect blend of scares and humor. Cooper’s script isn’t wary of going back and forth to have its audience laughing in one moment and then have it be quickly followed by them jumping out of their seats. There is something incredibly intriguing about a film that seems to recognize what it knows the audience is looking for when paired with the film concept. This may be due to the fact that  the film’s producers  have a long history in the horror genre, in addition to Cooper’s writing Jason Blum, the CEO of Blumhouse, has long had roots in horror since the beginning of the company with popular entries such as “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge.” Another member of the project is James Wan, the creator of several major horror franchises including “Saw” and “The Conjuring”. With all of these forces combined, the love and understanding for their audience shows in the final product. 


Even though the production aspects are wonderful on their own, the performances that bring these moments to life are what make “M3GAN” really stand out. Allison Williams brings so much depth to Gemma to help viewers understand her motivations for the creation of M3GAN in the first place. Alongside Williams, Violet McGraw perfectly plays off her elder counterpart in a performance that is shocking to see be done by an eleven-year-old. However, the real showstopper is the combined effort of Amie Donald and Jenna Davis, who portray the physical form and the voice of M3GAN respectively. Without the work of the two, “M3GAN” may not have been as successful as it truly ended up being. 


“M3GAN” wowed both new horror fans and those who were veteran watchers of the genre. It brought a new tone to the genre that many thought might have been lost with the recent trends seemingly steering away from the idea of being both comedic andscary. In fact, horror fans’ embracement of the new horror icon is clearer with its box office performance. Having managed to sit comfortably in second place behind “Avatar: The Way of Water”, “M3GAN” surpassed expectations for its box office performance. Years from now, “M3GAN” could be discussed as a classic horror film from this decade. A sequel is set to release in January 2025.