From Chucky to Annabelle, there have been plenty of creepy dolls in horror over the years. And now, you can add M3GAN to that list.
The film stars Allison Williams as Gemma, a roboticist who has been secretly developing a life-like artificially intelligent doll named M3GAN at Funki, the toy company where she works in Seattle.
After her sister and brother-in-law die in a car crash, Gemma is given custody of her niece Cady (Violet McGraw). Seeing how lonely Cady is, Gemma pairs M3GAN with her, expecting her to be her lifelong companion.
However, M3GAN has not been thoroughly tested and she becomes self-aware, taking out anybody she perceives to be a threat to Cady.
The film is so much fun and one that deserves the communal cinema experience. It may be a horror but there is a surprising amount of laugh-out-loud moments; in fact, the funny moments probably outweigh the horrifying ones.
Director Gerard Johnstone made cuts to M3GAN so it could be watched be a wider audience. This means that you don't see much of M3GAN's acts of violence and there is little to no blood and gore. This makes the film feel a bit too safe and sanitised and the stakes feel low because you know you're not going to see anything too crazy.
Additionally, this decision also makes the doll herself feel less scary because you don't see the full extent of her psychotic behaviour. She is certainly very creepy and there is some tension leading up to a kill, but more often than not, audience members found her funny. After all, it's quite hard to take an all-singing all-dancing fashion-forward doll who has been heavily memed online very seriously as a threatening kill machine.
Despite this, Amie Donald (the physical body), Jenna Davis (the voice) and the puppet and animatronic teams do a terrific job bringing her to life and she is certain to become a horror icon!
After Get Out and The Perfection, Williams has already established herself as a scream queen. She grounds the story in reality as much as she can and is also unwittingly funny because of how bad she is at parenting.
M3GAN would have been a more effective horror if it wasn't so family-friendly. It may not be a success on the horror front but it is a very entertaining film regardless and you're in for a fun time at the movies.
In cinemas from Friday 13th January.