11 Most Over The Top Moments In M3GAN
"M3GAN" is one of 2023’s biggest horror movie surprises. The film went from a meme-worthy horror concept to box office success seemingly overnight — transforming an almost laughable premise into a franchise with more movies on the way. Directed by Gerard Johnstone, "M3GAN" follows a girl named Cady (Violet McGraw) who has to live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) after her parents are killed in a car accident. Gemma happens to be a toy inventor and AI expert working on a project aimed at giving kids a genuine friend to help guide them through their lives.
Cady becomes obsessed with her robot friend Megan (Amie Donald/Jenna Davis), but Megan’s commitment to Cady’s happiness quickly puts the people around her in danger. The most disturbing moments in "M3GAN" are the stuff of nightmares. But the film doesn’t try to limit itself to just terrifying its audiences. Throughout the movie, there are plenty of hilarious moments too. Some of Megan’s more murderous intentions get taken so far that you don’t know whether to scream or laugh. No matter what, "M3GAN" is a movie that will keep you on your toes. Is it horror, comedy, or both? Likely a mix of all of the above, but you can decide for yourself while looking over our most over-the-top moments from the smash hit.
Hit the ground running
Some movies spend a huge amount of time slowly building the story’s atmosphere, laying the groundwork for the emotions viewers will experience later on in the runtime. Not "M3GAN!" Right out of the gate, the movie lets everyone know to expect a whirlwind of mixed tones and twists of fate.
The movie starts with a lengthy commercial for Perpetual Pets — a toy made by Gemma’s company that’s a mix of Furbies and FurReal Friends with a sprinkling of AI learning. The commercial helps establish the world of "M3GAN" to some degree, but it also works as a schlocky surprise for anyone anticipating a more horrifying opening.
However, horror fanatics don’t have to wait too long for the movie to take a dark turn. Like a one-two punch, "M3GAN" shifts gears from the Perpetual Pets commercial and drives (literally) straight into Cady’s parents’ deaths. The car crash comes as Cady’s parents argue over her obsession with her Perpetual Pet toy. The quick tonal turnaround leaves viewers wondering whether to laugh or cry. The film’s opening is definitely over the top, but it’s also a perfect setup for everything that follows.
Megan’s first meltdown
"M3GAN" starts with a bang and refuses to slow down. After giving Cady her tragic introduction, the film shifts to Gemma’s perspective — offering a sneak peek at Megan early in her development process. Gemma takes a package down to her lab, and her coworkers are thrilled that the skin for Megan’s face has finally arrived in the mail.
The first look at Megan shows her doing her best Terminator cosplay. Until Cole (Brian Jordan Alvarez) fits Megan’s face onto her robotic skeleton, she’s a terrifying sight to behold. Still, even after she’s made more presentable, Megan’s appearance is pretty unsettling. As Gemma and her team get ready to do a test run on their latest creation, Gemma’s boss, David (Ronny Chieng), steps into the room. He discovers all the work they’ve been doing behind his back.
Chieng’s pitch-perfect acting turns David into the most over-the-top character in the film. In this scene, David’s hilarious outrage over his employees’ secret project gets upstaged by what happens when Megan gets powered up. After a few seconds of looking around, Megan’s face starts melting off her body. Must have been a problem with the wiring but nevertheless disturbing!
Cady meets her therapist
Not every scene in "M3GAN" ends in a violent car crash or a melting robot face. There are plenty of quiet, understated moments that manage to be just as over the top as everything surrounding them. Look no further than the first time Cady meets her therapist, Lydia (Amy Usherwood).
Gemma knows from the moment that Cady arrives home that she’s going to need help. It’s not just that Cady has lost both of her parents but also that Gemma has absolutely no idea how to raise a child. Gemma’s entire lifestyle — from her long work hours to her collection of toys that can’t be played with — is comedically opposed to having a child in her life.
Lydia makes a house call for her first session with Cady. Lydia says she wants to observe Cady and Gemma playing, which ends up being about as painful as you’d expect. Lydia immediately suggests the two play with one of Gemma’s collectibles. They awkwardly roll it back and forth on the floor while Gemma complains about the toy’s design and purpose not being utilized correctly. The whole scene lays out the conflict between Gemma and Cady in the most dramatic way possible.
The product demonstration
Any scene featuring Megan is guaranteed to be over the top, but few compare to the moment she meets Cady. Their initial meeting starts off a little awkward, but Megan quickly breaks the ice by drawing a photorealistic picture of Cady, who, uh, responds to this by sharing that her parents recently died. Like any good childhood companion, Megan decides to cheer Cady up with a song.
All of that is ridiculous, but what takes it up a notch is that their first meeting is a product demonstration for Gemma’s bosses. The silliness of what’s happening between Megan and Cady is almost completely overshadowed by the absolutely wild scene taking place on the other side of the one-way glass. Watching a seemingly sentient robot bond with a little girl over art, music, and parental mortality is just too much for the executives and investors at Funki. Everyone watching Megan and Cady is in tears and immediately green lights Gemma’s project.
Cady’s day at camp
Eventually, Gemma starts to notice that the relationship between Cady and Megan is toxic, but her first effort to break them apart leads to more horror movie shenanigans. Gemma takes Cady to a day camp and tells her she’ll have to spend the day getting to know other kids her age. However, she immediately agrees to let Megan stay at the camp when Cady complains.
It’s impossible to pick the most over-the-top moment from the day camp scene. Is it when a counselor notices Megan for the first time and nearly has a heart attack? Is it the shot of Megan creepily sitting amongst stuffed animals? Those are beautifully goofy moments, but what most people remember comes later. After a boy named Brandon (Jack Cassidy) is mean to Cady, Megan rips off his ear and chases him through the woods. He runs into the road and a car hits him. From scene to scene, it’s the small details in "M3GAN" combined with explosive moments that make the movie work.
One of the best things about "M3GAN" is that the movie always finds a way to up the ante. Most horror movies would give audiences a small breather after having them watch a robot essentially murder a young boy, but "M3GAN" refuses to give anyone a break.
Even though he was being mean to her, Brandon’s death scares Cady. She doesn’t yet know that Megan killed him, so she seeks comfort from her robotic best friend. When Cady asks Megan if Brandon is in a better place — like her parents — Megan gives an answer only a robot would. She tells Cady that Brandon isn’t in heaven because mean boys wouldn’t deserve to go there.
Somehow, that calms Cady down. There’s only one thing for Megan to do to finish helping Cady drift off to a peaceful slumber: sing the 2011 pop hit "Titanium" by David Guetta. This is without a doubt the most shockingly strange moment in the movie and its funniest turn.
Megan visits the neighbor
Every one of Megan’s kills in "M3GAN" is extreme. Brandon gets his ear ripped off. David is brutally stabbed in an elevator. But the person who gets it the worst is Gemma’s neighbor, Celia (Lori Dungey). From the moment Celia debuts on screen, you know she’s fated to suffer.
Celia isn’t exactly the ideal neighbor. She doesn’t have a sense of boundaries, physical or emotional, and is a nuisance from Gemma’s point of view. Her dog is a bit too energetic and overly protective of his territory. Not long into the movie, Cady gets bit by the dog. Megan responds to this incident by killing the animal in the middle of the night.
Poor Celia spends the rest of the movie trying to track down her missing pet. Even though she suspects someone in Gemma’s household is responsible for his disappearance, she has no way to prove it. Eventually, Celia’s pestering is too much for Megan. The robot lures Celia to the tool shed where she pins her to the wall with a nail gun and kills her with a pressure washer hose. Subtlety isn’t part of Megan’s programming.
The prison break
Gemma’s work lab gives Megan her first taste of freedom. Megan finds herself back in the lab just as Funki is getting ready to show off its new AI-powered toy to the world. Gemma was supposed to prepare Megan for the expo, but the work instead falls to her partners, Cole and Tess (Jen Van Epps).
Of course, Megan decides she needs to make a break for it if she ever wants to see Cady again. She decides that it would be best to escape in the most over-the-top way possible. When Cole tries to manually shut Megan down, she seizes the opportunity to strangle him with the wires connecting her to Funki’s network. After that, it would be simple enough for Megan to kill Tess and walk out of the lab. But that’s not how she plays it. Instead, Megan uses some volatile gas — which maybe shouldn’t be in a lab, to begin with — to blow up the entire wing of the building.
"M3GAN" is full of goofy and memorable moments, but the one that reigns supreme is Megan’s dance at the end of the movie. Sandwiched between two brutal murder scenes is a moment that feels as strange as Megan’s lullaby earlier in the film. Sure, we know Megan is musically inclined. But why is she dancing post-bloodbath?
After blowing up Gemma’s lab, David runs for his life. He probably knows that this is the end for him, but even through his terror, he must be confused by Megan’s approach. As they race down the hallway, she swings into a series of intricate dance moves that look like a cross between professional choreography and a malfunction in Megan’s programming.
Watching Megan do The Snake is laugh-out-loud hilarious. In the context of the film, it’s threatening. In real life, this clip is one of the things that helped skyrocket the movie to success. It was featured in the film’s trailer and kicked off a massive TikTok trend of people recreating Megan’s iteration of the snake. "M3GAN" wouldn’t be as memorable without this particular hit moment.
Gemma’s face off with Megan
After killing dogs, neighbors, bullies, and overbearing bosses, where is an AI toy to go except home? Once again, the movie finds a way to keep the excitement rising by having Megan confront Gemma for control over Cady. In previous confrontations, Megan used the element of surprise to overcome her adult-sized victims. But this time, she uses hand-to-hand combat.
We have to assume that Megan’s robotic skeleton gives her some heightened strength because she doesn’t have much trouble overpowering Gemma. As the two of them fight for their lives in Gemma’s kitchen, they try to act nonchalant for Cady’s sake. They call out to her, telling her to stay in her room. Of course, Cady becomes involved in the fight and things wrap up quickly.
Staging a genuine fight scene between Gemma and a child-sized toy was an over-the-top idea, but it translates perfectly to the screen. While it might not bring up the sense of terror and tension that the film wanted, it nails the frequently hilarious tone of "M3GAN." The final battle between her and Gemma works perfectly.
Robot to the rescue
Everyone knows that when a gun shows up in the first act of a movie, it’s going to be fired by the time the credits roll. Apparently, "M3GAN" decided that rule should also apply to robots. Early in the film, Cady finds a large robot named Bruce in Gemma’s workshop. Cady’s fascination with Bruce is part of what motivates Gemma to finish her work on Megan in the first place.
Bruce isn’t seen much once Megan enters their home, but he saves the day in the end. Try as she might, Gemma isn’t able to fight off Megan. Even Cady’s horror at Megan attacking Gemma isn’t enough to convince Megan to stop her rampage. Luckily, Cady knows how Bruce works, so she grabs the gloves that control him and knocks Megan out. Who would have thought this whole story would end in a robot-versus-robot battle? The ending of "M3GAN" makes it clear that there are more dangers to come, so maybe Megan and Bruce will have a rematch in the future.