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First reactions to 'M3GAN' hail killer doll as 'instant icon' - and demand for a 'Chucky' crossover

Produced by James Wan and Blumhouse, M3GAN heads for the big screen Friday, Jan. 6.

M3GAN (2023)

A new contender for the title of "Killer Doll Heavyweight Champion of the World" (yes, we just made that up) has officially entered the chat. With advance screenings of M3GAN now concluded, audiences agree that the titular doll with a penchant for murder will be sticking around for quite some time. If nowhere else, at least in all our nightmares. "M3GAN fully whips ass, she is iconic and I love her," exclaimed SYFY WIRE's own James Grebey, going on to call the film "a hoot and a holler."

James A. Janisse of the Dead Meat YouTube channel hailed M3GAN herself as "an instant icon" and described the overall tone of the film as "top notch," going on to add that it deftly balances thrills with humor. "I laughed my ass off so many times, yet it remained dark throughout."

Discussing Film's Andrew J. Salazar echoed that sentiment, tweeting that the project delivers "our next great horror icon." He continued: "The first film in a long time to make the best out of the 'killer doll' story while still carving its own tasteful personality. It's the perfect balance of eeriness and dark humor. Like Malignant, the film rightfully earns all the camp."

GamesRadar writer Amy West agreed: "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."

"THE evolution of the killer doll sub-genre and an absolute blast to watch with a screaming crowd," tweeted Slash Film's BJ Colangelo "This movie knows exactly what it is and it’s going to be tough to dethrone M3GAN as the new reigning queen of horror. I’m obsessed."

Written by Akela Cooper (Malignant) and directed by Gerard Johnstone (Housebound), the movie serves as a cautionary tale of modern technology run amok as toy company roboticist Gemma (Get Out's Allison Williams) gifts her lonely 8-year-old niece, Cady (The Haunting of Hill House's Violet McGraw), with an experimental play-thing capable of thinking — and killing — for itself.

The film was produced by James Wan (Atomic Monster) and Jason Blum (Blumhouse). Williams, Mark Katchur, Ryan Turek, Michael Clear, Judson Scott, Adam Hendricks, and Greg Gilreath are executive producers. The cast also includes: Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Lori Dungey, and Stephane Garneau-Monten.

Erik Davis of Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes characterized the overall proceedings as more of "an amusing social satire than straight horror, but it’s inventive and clever and VERY entertaining. Without a doubt it elevates the 'Scary Doll' genre, but now I need a M3GAN vs Chucky movie immediately!"

Showbiz Cheat Sheet writer Jeff Nelson proclaimed that "nothing can prepare you for the wild ride that is M3GAN. It’s an absolute laugh riot that also successfully balances horror and drama, weaving themes of loss, grief, and trauma. A thrilling and thoroughly entertaining addition to the killer doll sub-genre."

Nightmarish Conjurings founder Shannon McGrew also name-dropped Charles Lee Ray, declaring that the homicidal mascot of the Child's Play franchise "ain't got nothin' on M3GAN." She called the feature "absolutely bonkers" (adding in an extra "BONKERS" for emphasis) and "a nightmare come to life."

"M3GAN is bizarre and totally bonkers," wrote Scott Menzel of We Live Entertainment. "A darkly comedic take on how modern technology can consume and take over our lives. While #M3GAN delivers kills, chills and laughs, it is M3GAN’s singing and sweet dance moves that standout as the films most memorable moments. A cult classic is born."

Fangoria editor Phil Nobile Jr. urged fans to "believe the viral hype" making its way online. "#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," he tweeted. "Allison Williams completes a horror trifecta after GET OUT and THE PERFECTION, playing a timely white lady Dr. Frankenstein."

M3GAN heads for the big screen Friday, Jan. 6

Looking for more killer dolls? The first season of Chucky is now streaming on Peacock.

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