Allison Williams, Killer Dolls, and Artificial Intelligence: 5 Top-Rated … – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

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Horror fans have been anticipating M3GAN  since they first laid eyes on the titular android companion and her magical dance moves. The movie lives up to the hype and is the first box office hit of 2023. So far, it’s made $30 million, more than double its $12 million budget, in its first weekend.
Blumhouse, the studio behind M3GAN, knew they had something special and reworked the movie to earn a PG-13 rating. Here’s why they cut the gorier scenes and five movies to watch after you see M3GAN:
Cady (Violet McGraw) is a young girl struck by tragedy after her parents die in a car accident. She goes to live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), a roboticist who struggles to adjust to being a single mom. To help herself and to give Cady a friend, she takes her most significant work project home: an AI doll that will play with and take care of the child it’s assigned to. Of course, the doll takes its prime directive a little too far and begins killing anyone who gets too close to Cady.  
Gerard Johnstone directs M3GAN. The story was created by James Wan (he’s also one of the film’s producers) and Akela Cooper. The two previously worked together on the 2021 cult hit Malignant. The two movies share an understanding of their inherently goofy plotlines, but M3GAN is much less gory than their previous work.
The film’s PG-13 rating is controversial to some horror lovers who want things as grimy as possible. Still, in a joint interview with super-producer James Blum for The Hollywood Reporter, Wan explained that they reshot certain scenes to avoid the R rating and widen M3GAN’s appeal. 
“I’ve done PG-13 films, and I’ve done R-rated films. So I think it’s about whatever is most suitable for the film, and even though M3GAN is a scary movie, teenagers will really dig this. They’ll really like it, and I think it will speak to them in a big way,” said the director. The decision has certainly paid off. 
If you’ve seen M3GAN and are looking for more movies in the same vein, here are five films to watch with similarities in their premises:
Great scare, iconic imagery, and timeless subject matter: 2017’s Get Out isn’t just a great “social thriller” as Peele defines his filmmaking debut. It’s one of the best movies of the century. A black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) travels to Upstate New York with his white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams in her best role yet) to visit her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Chris’ relatable anxiety becomes heightened as he uncovers the secret of how this family really operates.  
The movie is a perfect send-up of Obama-era liberals who aren’t nearly as progressive as they appear. Whitford’s assertion that he would’ve voted for Obama a third time is one of the funniest lines in recent film history. Peele’s visual ambition has deepened in his movies since, but Get Out remains his masterpiece.
The movie is free to stream on FXNOW and available to rent in all major digital marketplaces. 
James Wan is the director behind many well-received horror movies, including the first two Conjuring movies. The Conjuring is particularly significant because the film marked the debut of the universe’s haunted doll.
Annabelle is found in the paranormal collection of investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). The first movie’s success led to Annabelle getting her own trilogy of spin-offs starting in 2014. She also appears in other Conjuring Universe projects, The Curse of La Llorona (2019) and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021). 
The Conjuring is currently available on Netflix. 
Many movies have been made involving killer dolls, but few, if any, are more iconic than Chucky. He first appeared in Child’s Play in 1988, terrifying Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks), her son Andy (Alex Vincent), and the viewers at home thanks to a committed performance from Brad Dourif.
But Chucky isn’t just a murderer. He’s also a family man. In Bride of Chucky, he finds his demented true love Tiffany, and they somehow have a child in Seed of Chucky. As of now, the original Child’s Play is on HBOMax, Showtime, and DirectTV. 
The “torture porn” era of horror movies didn’t produce many great films. But Saw (another James Wan joint) is one of the few exceptions. The movie’s central villain, Jigsaw, with his distinct look and modulated voice, is a big reason why it’s so memorable.
He’s evil and sadistic, but he at least operates within a thought-provoking ethos that too many people take life for granted and need to be shocked into recognizing their good fortune. 
Like most horror franchises, the sequels to Saw needlessly expanded the lore and took the story to unrecognizable places. But the first one still has its merits. Saw is currently on Hulu, Tubi, and Pluto TV. 
Here’s How ‘The Office’ Influenced ‘M3GAN’
The Babadook doesn’t feature a killer children’s doll. Still, like M3GAN, the movie’s emotional core is an imperfect relationship between a child and their caregiver. 
After the death of their husband and father, the widowed Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) struggle to adapt to the new normal on their own. Their collective grief takes a life of its own. Samuel starts worrying about a monster in a top hat lurking in the house. And Amelia’s loneliness makes it hard for her to be the parent her kid needs.  
The movie, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, was hailed as one of the best movies of 2014. While it is severely lacking in jokes, The Babadook‘s legacy has become more comic thanks to memes claiming the titular monster is an LGBTQ icon. The film is free to watch on DirectTV, Tubi, and Kanopy. 


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