Killer dolls are one of the funnier horror tropes. Of the many possible threats one could face in a horror film, a doll is the one that you could absolutely take on, no sweat. Yet the trope persists, from The Twilight Zone to Child’s Play (and now the Chucky TV series) to Annabelle, dolls and doll-like creations have proven themselves to be wildly effective killing machines, especially when they have the help of demons — or, like in the trailer for the upcoming horror film M3GAN, a rogue AI.
Written by Malignant’s Akela Cooper, M3GAN (which stands for “Model 3 Generative Android”) is about a scientist (Get Out’s Allison Williams) who creates a lifelike android doll that’s meant to be the perfect companion for children, and decides to introduce her to her niece. Unfortunately, M3GAN takes her mission a little too seriously, and in addition to dancing and playtime, decides to murder everyone who is even a little rude to her new human friend (sometimes while dancing.)
Even though it’s impossible to truly judge a film by its trailer, it feels like it’s hard for any of us to lose with this one. If it’s a great surprise like Malignant? Cool! Another addition to the cult horror canon. If it’s not? Memes for days. Of course, the best case scenario is really both. Unfortunately it’ll be some time before we know for sure.
M3GAN premiers in theaters on Jan. 13.