The idea of a killer doll isn’t actually something that’s a new concept. Even before Chucky and Annabelle came along, dolls have been used in horror stories. There’s a reason why the friends I used to have over for sleepovers got a little bit freaked out by the china dolls I had in the living room.
So, all that to say that the idea of M3gan isn’t a unique one. I did find the movie interesting to watch, but it was rather predictable. The jump scares were ones I saw coming a mile off, so I didn’t really get scared by them. And the killer doll trope is, as I said earlier, one that’s been used a lot.
One thing I did feel that M3gan did well was to show the reliance of people on technology. From the first scene of Cady in the car with her parents, who’d given her the iPad to keep her distracted, through to the whole idea of M3gan being almost a replacement parent, it was a concept that had its roots in our current world…and something that could quite easily become a future. Not to say that everyone would go that route, but given a lot of people do rely on screens to keep their children entertained? I could see a similar, non-murderous version of M3gan being used by plenty of parents.
Another thing that I felt this movie handled well was the trauma of Cady losing her parents. Of course, that was as much down to the skills of the actress playing the character as the writing itself, but either way, it was one of the strongest parts of the movie. Later on, there were some parts that seemed really disjointed and almost wooden, but I think that was more due to the writing. And I was really glad to see that Cady had a therapist, although it really felt that Gemma wasn’t worried about her niece’s therapy at all.
That leads me to the worst character of the movie, in my opinion: Gemma. (Though, to be honest, David missed out on that title by a very small margin). I honestly couldn’t understand why Gemma wanted to take in Cady at all. She was completely neglectful and knowingly put her niece into dangerous situations with a careless attitude that made me lose any empathy for the character at all. I liked M3gan more than Gemma. Yes, M3gan killed people, but she was clearly following her primary objective, which was to protect Cady. Really, all of the bad events that happened in this movie could primarily be laid at Gemma’s feet.
Overall, this movie was at least entertaining to watch, but it added very little that was new to the genre. And there was no real bond to speak of between Gemma and Cady, which was a huge disappointment. It was at least interesting to see the makings of the robot and there were some good elements of foreshadowing. I did also really like the visuals of M3gan herself. I just didn’t think the good parts were enough to carry the movie.