The killer doll is a scary movie trope that’s been thoroughly worn out. Between “Child’s Play,” “Annabelle,” Stuart Gordon’s “Dolls” and the entirety of the “Puppet Master” franchise I wasn’t sure there was any gas left in that tank. Blumhouse Productions’ “M3GAN” gives the subgenre a science-fiction twist and a comedic spin that justifies the retread.
Violet McGraw plays Cady, an 11-year-old forced to move in with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) after her parents die in a car accident. Gemma is her legal guardian but she’s also a young robotics engineer preoccupied with a looming development deal she’s been preparing for at the toy company where she works. Hoping she can involve Cady in her project to fit in some needed bonding time, she introduces her mourning niece to a prototype of an artificial intelligence, life-sized robot doll that learns to tend to Cady’s emotional and physical well-being. Gemma’s deal moves forward with much enthusiasm from her employers, but things go awry when M3GAN’s ability to learn accelerates beyond what she was previously designed for.