There’s something particularly creepy about the idea of dolls coming to life, and it’s no wonder that movies like Child’s Play and Annabelle have had longevity in the horror genre. Now writer Akela Cooper has incorporated her own fear of ventriloquist dummies in the script she co-wrote with James Wan for the upcoming Blumhouse horror flick M3GAN. The movie premiered in Los Angeles on December 7, and those who attended the screening have taken to social media with their first reactions. Based on the tweets, it seems like there may be a new contender in the debate over who’s the better killer doll.
M3GAN isn’t exactly a doll, however, but a life-sized android, tasked with protecting the recently orphaned Cady (Violet McGraw) from physical and emotional harm. M3GAN is already getting the meme treatment, ahead of its January 6 release to theaters, thanks to its wild trailer that features the titular robot showing off some dance moves before going to extreme lengths in order to protect her human friend. CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg was among the film’s early viewers, and he tweets that M3GAN is a blast:
M3GAN is great! It’s effectively creepy, but it also plays things with a smirk and that adds to the fun. I feel like it would be better with an R-rating (particularly when it comes to third act escalation), but it’s a blast. pic.twitter.com/hWu3F2hXCKDecember 8, 2022
Amy West of Games Radar shouts out both Jenna Davis as the voice of M3GAN and Amie Donald, the actress behind the android, for their performances, saying as well as bringing the horror, the movie provides some hilarious moments and sassy one-liners:
Well, #M3GAN RULES. We all know I love a killer doll, and this gal is up there with the best of ’em. The movie is packed with creepy moments, LOL-worthy shots and sassy one-liners that I’m still grinning gleefully over. Less bloody than ya might expect, but I had a blast 🖤 pic.twitter.com/JexwQK7EcbDecember 8, 2022
Erik Davis of Fandango says James Wan has done it again, elevating this subgenre of film. He says M3GAN is just as much social satire as straight horror:
In case you’re wondering… yes, #M3GAN slays. Definitely more of an amusing social satire than straight horror, but it’s inventive & clever & VERY entertaining. Without a doubt it elevates the “Scary Doll” genre, but now I need a M3GAN vs Chucky movie immediately! pic.twitter.com/ZTkUyloTbIDecember 8, 2022
Drew Taylor of The Wrap praises director Gerard Johnstone for the way the movie walks the line between horror and comedy, also pointing out its satirical tone.
#M3GAN rules. I was expecting a campy killer doll movie but wasn’t prepared for its effective tonal tightrope act, sly satire and emphasis on horror/comedy stylings. (It’s more of a killer robot movie too!) Also great song choices. Director Gerard Johnstone is the real deal. 🦾 pic.twitter.com/7sI9UtF1bGDecember 8, 2022
Film critic Simon Thompson says this movie was made to be watched on the big screen with a raucous crowd. He echoes a lot of the same sentiments as others who viewed an early showing, regarding M3GAN’s humor and also notes there are some “tasty kills.”
#M3GAN is pure mayh3m and a m3gaton of twisted fun. The dark and occasionally irreverent tongue-in-cheek humor deliver a movie that is highly entertaining and full of surprises. It’s a smart and sassy blast with some tasty kills. See it in theaters and watch the crowd go wild! pic.twitter.com/eHNiTrzqLdDecember 8, 2022
When it comes to the debate over killer doll movies, Shannon McGrew of Nightmarish Conjurings has made up her mind, and sorry Chucky. This critic goes so far as to say this life-sized robot is even a step further than Furbies. Say it ain’t so! In her own words:
#M3GAN is absolutely bonkers. BONKERS. A terrifying upgrade from the fearsome Furbies, M3GAN is a nightmare come to life. I’m sorry, Chucky, but you ain’t got nothin’ on M3gan. pic.twitter.com/qg7Co1LCfjDecember 8, 2022
Phil Noble Jr. of Fangoria says that in addition to the great work done by the younger actresses in M3GAN, Allison Williams is a little like Dr. Frankenstein, as she continues a successful streak in the horror genre as Cady’s aunt and new caretaker Gemma. She and the film’s other adults are not much help to the orphaned child, making that grief land a little harder, he says:
Believe the viral hype: #M3GAN delivers with a campy mean streak that will rattle some, but there’s a code in M3GAN’s code that makes her easy to root for. Allison Williams completes a horror trifecta after GET OUT and THE PERFECTION, playing a timely white lady Dr. Frankenstein. pic.twitter.com/MwvoV5pC4oDecember 8, 2022
It sounds like those who were able to see an early screening of the movie are really excited about it, with some even expressing interest in a M3GAN sequel. We’ll be able to learn more about what critics think when reviews come out January 4 ahead of its theatrical release on Friday, January 7. In the meantime, you can check out some of the other best Blumhouse horror movies, and see what else is headed to the big screen in the new year with our 2023 Movie Release Schedule.