10 Worst Horror Tropes In M3GAN

Since the trailer debuted for M3GAN, the world has been impatiently awaiting her to make her silver screen appearance. Within the first 24 hours of release, M3GAN actually made back its budget almost in its entirety, which is an impressive feat for any movie, especially a horror film.

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While M3GAN is performing well and has a solid 94% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes, it hasn’t managed to escape all the cliché and expected tropes that the horror genre often falls into. To be fair on the film, these tropes don’t make the film bad. In fact, the film was still amazing despite the use of them, but some things can’t be overlooked.

10/10 Toning It Down For A PG-13 Rating

The movie was allegedly far gorier in its first rendition. With enough graphic blood and guts to earn an R rating, M3GAN was carefully combed through to reduce the rating to PG-13. Now, that isn’t automatically a bad thing. Some horror movies can perform well with a less intense rating, but it’s become a horror no-go to take a stab at an authentically scary movie with anything less than an R rating.

While M3GAN was actually one of the surprising films that still worked well with the PG-13 rating, fans can’t help but wonder what the rated R version would have looked like and if it had added anything to the film.

9/10 A Toy Inventor Who Knows Nothing About Kids

A close up of Gemma being suspicious of M3GAN in M3GAN

Gemma is a toy inventor specializing in high-tech and sophisticated toys that are too expensive for most families to afford. This eventually leads her to create M3GAN, a life-like doll that can act as a child’s best friend, caregiver, and many other roles a growing child needs.

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Despite being a toy inventor and the next of kin for her young niece, Cady, she’s absolutely clueless about children. It seems odd to focus the film around a toy inventor who doesn’t know about kids. Gemma feels like an ill-equipped guardian because she is, but due to her job and her interests, it would make more sense for her to be a good place for Cady from the start.

8/10 Some Predictable Jump Scares


Unfortunately, no matter how good they are, most horror films will fall victim to at least one or two predictable and poorly executed jump scares. M3GAN, for the most part, actually took a creative, fun, and humorous approach to the sequences that made M3GAN terrifying, but it still had a few scares that were just too cliché to really enjoy.

The most notable one happens when Gemma has shut M3GAN down, wrapped her in bubble wrap and duct tape, and taken her back to her lab when she suspects the doll might be behind the recent deaths. While conversing with her friends and colleagues, M3GAN falls over on the couch she’s sitting on, scaring the group in the process. While it makes sense that the characters would be scared, it had basically no effect on the audience other than a chuckle.

7/10 M3GAN Advanced Too Quickly

M3GAN Could (and Should) Become the Next Terminator Franchise

Considering M3GAN didn’t actually work at the beginning of the movie and Gemma’s team caused her head to explode while initially demonstrating her, she went from a malfunctioning little girl to the Terminator pretty fast – some might argue that she advanced a little too quickly.

The movie worked to make the film’s pace feel balanced, but when M3GAN breaks out of Gemma’s lab and storms back home, she can kill people with little effort and take control of all the surrounding electronics. While they established her AI learning early on, her rapid development seemed a little far-fetched by the movie’s end.

6/10 Everyone Was Awful

M3GAN struts with blade in M3GAN

Most horror movies come with the expectation of a kill count. Slasher movies are the most known for a high death toll, but most horror films need at least one painful death to cement how terrifying the situation is.

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M3GAN was no exception. When the film came to a close, several people had been dispatched during the doll’s mission to protect Cady. The thing was, none of these characters were upsetting deaths. Instead, all of them were irritating, harmful, or degrading to others. That doesn’t mean they deserved to die, but it made the audience cheer for their deaths more than take them seriously.

5/10 The Dead Dog


M3GAN kills the neighbor’s dog. To be fair, this particular dog was violent, and his owner was unwilling to control him. M3GAN only killed the dog after it attacked her and bit Cady’s arm. He was a less sympathetic animal than most horror film animal deaths.

That said, horror loves to needlessly kill animals, especially pets. It’s become a staple, and it’s one of those clichés fans hate. It’s upsetting and unnecessary and there’s a reason why people joke about not caring that people die so long as they leave the cat alone. This is one cliché that could finally bite the dust.

4/10 The Irritating Neighbor

M3GAN attacking her neighbor after she threatens Gemma

Regarding role expectations, the ravenous dog’s owner was an irritating and careless neighbor who was both nosy and unwilling to pay attention to anyone’s needs but her own. This eventually led to her death after allowing her dog to attack M3GAN and Cady without punishing or trying to stop him.

Horror loves to include the annoying and vaguely threatening neighbor character. This archetype shows up all the time, and while they often serve a purpose, the purpose is usually to either draw attention from the real evil or give the antagonist a justified target. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what M3GAN did.

3/10 M3GAN Also Included The Useless Police Trope

M3GAN dies in the end when Cady kills her

In addition to the dead pet and the nosy neighbor, the film also went out of its way to include a few other expected caricatures, like the horrible and unsympathetic boss and the useless police officer that keeps interrupting anyway.

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In M3GAN, the police are called to Gemma’s house or other incidents where Gemma is present multiple times. The officer who shows up at Gemma’s house numerous times does nothing to help the situation. In fact, he outright tells Gemma there’s nothing he can do despite the neighbor’s dog literally attacking her 9-year-old niece.

2/10 M3GAN Is Too Elaborate & Expensive

Gemma talks to Cady with M3GAN in the background in M3GAN

M3GAN is an incredibly durable and strong piece of equipment. Made of some of the most durable materials money can buy, M3GAN can withstand a lot of damage. That’s the movie’s excuse for why she’s built the way she is. She’s supposed to last, and she’s supposed to be able to take a beating because kids can get rough with their toys, and life can also be unpredictable.

All that said, there’s no reason this 4-foot doll should have the strength to rip a child’s ear off easily or yank a giant dog out of the air. The movie built her like a miniature Terminator, but she’s supposed to be a child’s toy. Giving her that much strength and capability seems like a huge oversight. What if she hurt her child companion? Making her as powerful as she was felt more like plot armor than an actual logical decision.

1/10 M3GAN Killed With Reason Until She Didn’t

M3GAN lifts a paper shredder as a weapon in M3GAN

M3GAN’s mission was to protect Cady from emotional or physical harm. In doing so, she ended up killing the neighbor’s dog who bit her, the dog’s owner who threatened Gemma and put Cady in danger, and the boy bully from the school that attacked Cady for no reason. These three kills made sense in the narrative because she was following her programming to keep Cady safe.

Her final kills, however, seemed highly unnecessary. Killing Gemma’s boss and his assistant and attacking Gemma’s friends didn’t actually fall in line with her programming. They weren’t a threat to Cady. While Gemma’s friends could be excused because they were trying to fix her code, the boss and the assistant were no threat to her. She was killing for the sake of killing.

NEXT: 10 Horror Movie Tropes That Still Work

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