New doll-coming-to-life movie doesn’t live up to expectations

AI doll “M3GAN,” entertaining, not scary




Dolls coming to life have been at the heart of horror movie plots like “Chuckie” for quite some time. The newly released movie “M3GAN” puts a modern twist on the idea, by having the doll named M3GAN be created with artificial intelligence (AI).  Although it wasn’t a mind-blowing cinematic masterpiece like previous doll-related horror films that created nightmares and real fears of dolls, it was still entertaining to watch.

After a catastrophic car crash that causes the death of two parents, their daughter, Cady is put into the custody of her toy designer and roboticist aunt, Gemma. After Gemma decides to program a life size AI companion for Cady called M3GAN, a connection grows so powerful that if anyone caused Cady trouble, they would be met with deadly consequences from M3GAN. 

The character design of M3GAN was realistic to the point it was creepy. Her body and mouth movements were very fun to watch, and her voice effect was impressive. No wonder it took both Amie Donald, Jenna Davis and Kimberly Crossman to play her.  The acting and dedication of these three really showed through the characters. 

These actresses wern’t the only ones who gave a good performance. Allison Williams and Violet McGraw also did a great with their characters, Gemma and Cady. When they had to portray the feeling of fear and discomfort towards either M3GAN or anything else, it was pretty believable. I even caught myself relating to the same feelings they felt. 

Even though the acting was great, the film itself had its flaws. The plot was creative and entertaining to watch, but I expected more when it came to the horror. The movie didn’t have a lot of scary moments.  I didn’t feel like I was watching a horror movie. Every now and then we would get a jump scare or two but nothing besides that. The movie is more of a thriller than a horror movie.  

A lot of the parts that were supposed to scare the audience were predictable. Additionally, many of the unsettling scenes or clips that caused me to jump were already shown in the trailer, so they were expected and anti-climatic. After seeing the trailer, there wasn’t much of a shock-factor for the rest of the film. And while the shocking parts are mostly in the trailer, and they ruin that aspect of the movie, it isn’t really a spoiler in the grand scheme of the plot. 

I wouldn’t call myself a fan of horror movies and I usually try to steer away from them, but even I wanted a little more thrill when watching. This was too mild. And while Gerard Johnstone, the director of the film, did do a wonderful job with the casting and production of the movie, the story itself needed more excitement and terror-inducing moments.