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Why Cady From M3GAN Looks So Familiar

To anyone asking if we need more murdering doll horror films, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. From production studio, Blumhouse, which has brought horror classics such as "The Purge," comes a movie that makes "Child's Play" look like ... well, child's play. Instead of the soul of a serial killer transplanted into a Chucky doll, the terrifying trailer for "M3GAN" shows an android that was built to be your best friend. After the devastating death of her parents, young Cady has to contend with being alone in the world. She is taken in by a robotics engineer Gemma (Allison Williams), who does her best to help her overcome her trauma.

Enter M3GAN, the best friend you never wanted to have. Programmed to protect Cady emotionally and physically, it isn't long before M3GAN starts taking her job a little too seriously. It's all fun and games until kids begin to die, something that Cady soon realizes. As the story's focal point, "M3GAN" needs a strong presence in the lead role, and the performer who plays Cady has credits to prove her worth. Though you may not realize it, the young actor has a high pedigree of horror films to back her up.

Violet McGraw was one traumatized child in the Flanaverse

In the recent horror spectrum, there seems to be no one more prolific than Mike Flanagan. The director has dipped his toe in the Stephen King world many times with adaptions of "Doctor Sleep" and "Gerald's Game." But Flanagan has made a name for himself in the game of Netflix limited series. "The Haunting of Hill House" was inspired by Shirley Jackson's beloved horror novel and remained a prominent example of Flanagan's finest elements. The series follows the Crain siblings as they re-examine their childhood trauma through the scope of a haunted mansion they lived in with their parents.

The five siblings have difficulties and crosses to bear, but none is more tragic than Nell (Victoria Pedretti). Haunted with the image of the Bent-Neck Lady, Nell's contact with the other side is even more heart-wrenching through the eyes of her younger self. In flashbacks, Young Nell (Violet McGraw) is shaken by the unsettling nature of the house, and it only begins the story of her sad life. Nell never recovers from the events in the house, and the actor who portrays her young self taps into devastating emotional depth for the role. Though McGraw started her career in the series, her portrayal of the doomed character cemented her future in film and television.

She teamed up with Carla Gugino again in Jett

Not long after they starred together in "The Haunting of Hill House," Violet McGraw and Carla Gugino united again. In the Cinemax series, "Jett," the two former castmates play a mother and daughter again. Executive produced by Gugino as well, the series follows thief Daisy "Jett" Kowalski, whose profession of thieving lands her in hot water. After being released from prison, Jett does her best to provide for her daughter Alice (McGraw). But as everyone knows, even when you're out, they can pull you back in. Jett returns to her old life to pull off what she hopes to be just one final score. Jett's love for her daughter wasn't just an essential element of the story; it also translated off-screen during casting.

"I chose her," Gugino told Collider in a one-on-one interview. "Because I'm a producer on this, I was really active in casting. I don't know any other 7-year-old actress who's as good as she, and I love her and her family. And so, immediately, as soon as we got the green light for 'Jett,' I said, 'I can't imagine another person playing Alice.'" Gugino's instincts were proven to be correct. A precocious child, Jett speaks to her daughter like she is any other adult in the room. Though perhaps not the best example of motherhood, it reflects a unique dynamic.

She is the first to die in Doctor Sleep

Children do not have the most outstanding track record for survival in Mike Flanagan's adaptation of "Doctor Sleep." A sequel to Stephen King's seminal classic, "The Shining," the film follows Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) in his adulthood as he tries to ignore the shine that continues to plague him. But after encountering Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her group of malicious psychic vampires known as The True Knot, he re-evaluates his perspective. Rose is a particularly evil creature who absorbs the essence of those with the shining — otherwise known as steam. And, of course, there is no better steam than the steam of a child.

This is established with perfect simplicity in the scene introducing Violet McGraw's character. Coincidentally, also named Violet, the young girl is the first casualty of the film. Violet is one of these shining girls that Rose and her band of cretins bottle and use to sustain their life. Viewers are thankfully spared from seeing her ultimate demise — unlike the gruesome death of Baseball Boy (Jacob Tremblay) — but understand that her death is just one of many. The True Knot is full of some of the most senseless villains to be put to screen with no remorse for killing children. Violet's death, and the deaths of others, make it all that much more vindicating when Dan finds a way to stop them.

She never stood a chance in Black Widow

One of the great tragedies of the Marvel universe is Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). After being recruited for the Red Room early, Natasha grew up with everything being decided for her. The events of her early life are demonstrated viscerally in the beginning scenes of MCU's prequel, "Black Widow." Living her adolescence in suburban Ohio, Natasha (Ever Anderson) and her adoptive sister Yelena (Violet McGraw) pose as the fake daughters of Melina (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei (David Harbour).

Though Natasha is old enough to understand she is a pawn for Mother Russia, that doesn't go for young Yelena. Both sisters are indoctrinated into a system that weaponizes girls in a not quite thinly veiled metaphor for human trafficking. Natasha and Yelena never had a choice but are forced to be in the Black Widow program before they know any better. The only love and affection they have in their lives are ripped away from them when Natasha and Yelena are separated. Though technically not a real family, adult Yelena (Florence Pugh) still holds on to the love she knew as a child because it is all she has. After Natasha's death, she must contend with losing her sister on top of losing her childhood. In her few scenes, McGraw's youth and raw emotion demonstrate just how much Yelena has lost and how she was never able to control her circumstances.