M3GAN: Killer doll movie doesn’t meet expectations

Nikia Clark, Staff Writer

M3GAN is a horror movie directed by Gerard Johnstone and was released in theaters Jan. 6. The story focuses on a doll with artificial intelligence programmed to be a child’s companion, who then learns more about the world and starts to grow to have a life of its own- all while “protecting” her owner. As the movie progresses it starts to feel more like a family drama than a horror movie.

The main characters in this movie are Cady (played by Violet McGraw), Gemma (played by Allison Williams) and M3GAN (performed by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis). After Cady’s parents die in a tragic car crash, her aunt Gemma takes her in. In the beginning of the movie we get scenes indicating that she is not ready to be a parent or have children, especially as she is more focused on her work. She is specifically working on an android she calls Megan. 

One of the first red flags we get about Megan is that she doesn’t have parental control programmed in her (so basically nothing is really restricting her from doing what she wants). Another important thing to note is that she is tasked to protect Cady from psychical and emotional harm. And through the movie we see that she either doesn’t know the boundaries of her task or doesn’t care. We see her become more defensive and aggressive to protect Cady as the movie progresses to the point where she practically takes revenge on those who hurt her.

While watching the movie you can see that the practical effects and little bits of CGI goes well with the doll-like face and make it look naturally like a doll/android. The pacing of the movie was overall really good with the directors showing us the progress of Megan and Cady quickly getting close and essentially becoming addicted to one another as the story moves forward. 

The movie did start to feel lackluster, however, with the advertisement making it seem like the movie was more fun than it was. There were definitely funny parts in the movie, but it just didn’t live up to expectations. This stands even more true if you’ve watched the trailers, which gives way too much information for specific scenes in the movie that would’ve been great had we not seen it beforehand. If someone were to ask if it was worth a second watch the answer would most likely be no. 

What the movie did well was subtly showing us, the audience, that Megan wasn’t necessarily evil, but her programming and commands kind of made it so she would go above and beyond to protect this one child. Megan does not really care about anyone else’s safety as long as she can keep Cady emotionally happy. If you think about it, you could say that the real evil in this situation is Gemma. She makes a doll with no limits, no fail safe. Her niece essentially becomes a test subject, all so she can have less responsibilities to look after Cady. She doesn’t want to look after Cady, but she’ll make sure she can use her for this experiment that investors are going to watch, even if Cady might feel alone and uncomfortable having to deal with this random doll and the recent death of her parents. If you let it, the movie makes you think of what’s wrong with the humans in this movie.