The Horror-Verse: “M3gan” is all comedy with little horror


Graphic by Shehzil Imran and Maya Imran

As I mindlessly scrolled through Tik Tok recently, I stumbled upon numerous videos of users talking about a new horror movie coming out in early 2023 — “M3gan.” I couldn’t fathom how silly and confusing the movie looked as I watched its trailer. Despite this, I surprisingly felt compelled to head to the theater as soon as it was released on Jan. 6. 

In the film, M3gan (Jenna Davis), an Artificial Intelligence doll, is designed by Gemma (Allison Williams) in hopes to aid her niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), while she grieves the loss of her parents. However, as the film progresses, M3gan becomes more possessive, obsessive and violent over Cady.

In an article, screenwriter Akela Cooper explained how the writers drew inspiration from past horror-film dolls, following in the footsteps of ones like Chucky and Annabelle. While the movie does not claim to fall into the genre of comedy in its description, I refuse to believe it wasn’t meant to be some form of satire. Even in its sullen moments and grotesque scenes, I had to hold back laughs in the theater. 

The scariest thing about M3gan is how criminally underused her programmed performing talents were. I would have appreciated more of her singing and dancing skills, as those scenes were the most entertaining. Furthermore, M3gan doesn’t look the slightest bit horrific. I understand it may be a part of the point for M3gan to deceive the characters through her light-hearted demeanor and cute appearance, but it only made the movie more laughable. Nothing about her creeped me out, even when she was no longer an innocent AI doll.

Upon finishing the movie, I was curious to see what others thought of “M3gan.” Much to my dismay, there were far too many reviews praising how well this film intersected its comedic timing with the dark scenes. I wholeheartedly disagree. Due to it being a PG-13 horror movie, “M3gan” didn’t have excessively violent scenes, and the few included in the film were done well. However, with how absurd the concept of M3gan was to process, mixed with the plot’s overall unoriginality, there were no moments where the two merged well enough to balance each other out. 

If you’re looking for an easy watch to fill your time, “M3gan” is a perfect choice. The trailer alone is straightforward and self-explanatory. However, outside of its unique comedy factor, the film is not anything revolutionary to the point where I’d picture myself watching it again. Through altering some scenes, I could have seen this movie being marketed as a version of “Scary Movie” with killer dolls — something I’d pay a good amount of money to watch. I wouldn’t add M3gan to my list of horrific toys; Chucky and Tiffany continue to easily hold their titles as first place.