Universal and Blumhouse’s “M3GAN” (which stands for Model 3 Generative Android) quickly became a cult classic as the killer AI doll twirled and kicked her way into our hearts after the film’s run earlier this year. Now, M3GAN appearances are resurging just in time for Halloween. At Universal Studios in Orlando, she roams the grounds, popping up for surprise performances of her murderous dance. People have flooded the comments of TikTok videos of her surprise appearance saying, “Sitting there for 1 hour paid off!!” and “They ate down.” The hashtag “M3gandance” has more than 637 million views.
We may not have the same M3GAN flash mob at Universal Studios Hollywood, but a crew of dancing M3GANs makes a surprise appearance at the “Blumhouse: Behind the Screams” attraction. At the core of social media’s fascination with M3GAN is the infectious dance she performs in a red hallway in pursuit of murder.
“M3GAN” director Gerard Johnstone wanted to make the doll creepier than what’s seen in other horror films, like “Child’s Play.” His solution was to make M3GAN as realistic as possible and the spookiness translates to the live performances of her uncanny dance to the Skatt Bros’ pulsing “Walk the night.”
You’ll encounter the M3GAN dance crew after making your way through the exhibition of animatronic animals and various movie props from Blumhouse films like “Black Phone” and the upcoming “Five Nights at Freddy’s.”
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As the M3GAN performers tilted their heads and body rolled with a weapon in hand at recent viewings, audiences screamed. Their shrieks weren’t out of fear, but excitement.
The moves by New Zealand-based choreographer Kylie Norris were developed in collaboration with 13-year-old actor Amie Donald, who played M3GAN, Norris told Them. Norris worked with Donald, her longtime student, at Norris Studio (a dance studio owned by Norris’ mother) and started to craft what would be the dance craze we see today.
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“We had a lot of fun playing with ideas in the studio that day,” Norris wrote in an Instagram post featuring rehearsal footage for the film.
“Gerard wanted it to be creepy but also kind of distracting,” Donald previously told The Times in January. The scene showed the killer doll perform a no-hands aerial cartwheel, lean against a wall with a backward leg kick and return to robotic movement in a matter of seconds. It was Donald’s favorite scene just as much as it was for moviegoers.
Steven Vargas is an arts reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Prior to joining the staff, he was an Entertainment and Arts intern. His areas of focus include theater, dance and social change. He previously reported with such outlets as E! News, USA Today, L.A. Sentinel and BuzzFeed News. During his time at USC, he co-founded the Equity Board with Annenberg Media through a Poynter Media Project and penned the newsroom’s “Guide for Equitable Reporting Strategies and Newsroom Style.” His short documentary, “Dancing at Home,” earned first place in the L.A. Press Club’s Life in the Time of the Coronavirus contest in May 2020 and awarded the PPAGLA Student videographer of the year. In 2021, he took part in the second cohort of Jose Solís’ BIPOC Critics Lab with the Kennedy Center. When he isn’t dancing, or writing about dance, he is scrolling through TikTok and obsessing over the latest internet trends.
Robert Gauthier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1994. He was the photographer for a project detailing the failings of an L.A. public hospital that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Before The Times, Gauthier worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Escondido Times-Advocate and the Bernardo News in San Diego County, his hometown.