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12 Horrifying Movies About Artificial Intelligence To Watch After M3GAN

Director James Wan has quickly become the heir to Wes Craven as the new master of horror at the movies. His directorial theatrical release "Saw" put him on the map, and he's continued to make a name for himself as one of the best horror directors of the modern era with films like "The Conjuring," "Insidious" and "Annabelle Comes Home." In 2023, he's following up his low-budget effort "Malignant" with a new story about a killer doll. However, this one isn't haunted by the ghost of a dead girl but is instead possessed by a revolutionary artificial intelligence.

AI that turns deadly is not a new idea, as we've seen this concept in films many times before, whether it is Skynet in the "Terminator" movies or killer replicants in "Blade Runner." "M3GAN" offers up a nightmarish tale of murder about a robot designed to help people that goes on a deadly rampage. Dark, unsettling, and uncomfortably disturbing, the creepy atmosphere and blood-soaked kills in the film make it something all its own. 

However, it remains an updated twist on an old idea, which means that if you're looking for more terrifying tales of homicidal AI to get your spine-tingling, you have some options. Here's our list of horrifying movies about artificial intelligence to watch after "M3GAN."

Child's Play (2019)

If you're looking for a slasher like "M3GAN" about an AI doll gone mad, the most obvious contemporary comparison might be the reboot of the legendary horror franchise "Child's Play." The film landed in 2019, and while the track record of horror remakes isn't great — with remakes like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Friday the 13th," and "Nightmare on Elm Street" all struggling to live up to their predecessors — the return of the demonic doll Chucky fared pretty well with critics. This new version succeeds thanks to a unique new take on the story, turning Chucky into an advanced AI-controlled toy unlike any other.

Now voiced by Mark Hamill, Chucky is introduced as the newest product of the Kaslan Corporation called a Buddi doll, designed with artificial intelligence that can learn and adapt to become a child's best friend. Forming its own unique personality based on interactions with its child owner, it's said that it can bond and form friendships like any real person. This proves the perfect gift when recently-widowed mother Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) moves her and her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) into a new home. However, as Andy grows closer to his new artificial friend, the doll — now named Chucky — begins exhibiting violent behavior. 

Chucky soon becomes a crazed killer willing to murder anyone who stands between his friendship with Andy. A bloody new take on an old classic, "Child's Play" reimagines an iconic horror franchise with startling effectiveness that few anticipated. 

Ex Machina

There are plenty of terrifying artificial intelligences in cinema history, but one of the most downright unsettling might be the depiction of Ava, the lifelike android at the center of Alex Garland's 2014 film "Ex Machina." While it lacks the scares and slashes of "M3GAN," its shares its frightening vision of the future of AI. It may even make you question why we're doing it and whether an artificial intelligence could actually be alive.

The film stars Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman, a Steve Jobs-like technology tycoon who has invented a new kind of artificial intelligence that nobody knows much about. He reveals his creation to a low-level programmer at his company named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), who he asks to stay with him at a remote location. There, Caleb is tasked with testing whether the artificial woman called Eva may be truly sentient. As Caleb and Ava get to know each other, questions arise about the truth behind Bateman's work and why he's really asked Caleb to take part in the test. 

Asking what it means to really be human, the film opens up a Pandora's Box of questions to consider. However, even beyond the ethical quandaries, unsettling overtones, and eye-popping special effects, "Ex Machina" features a cast that gives truly mesmerizing performances all around. Centering more on the thought-provoking side of artificial intelligence than "M3GAN," it may not scare you in the same ways — but it may leave you just as disturbed.


Plenty of movies have featured killer robots and deadly AI, but few have managed to instill quite as much fear as James Wan's "M3GAN." However, the 2022 indie horror movie "Blank" offers a story that comes awfully close. It takes the idea of a murderous robotic intelligence and combines that with Stephen King levels of suspense — mixing in elements that feel inspired by "The Shining" and "Misery" — to create a unique new venture into this sub-genre.

In "Blank," Rachel Shelley of "The L Word" stars as Claire Rivers, an author who is struggling to start her next novel. Her agent is none too happy with her slow pace, which prompts Claire to sign up for a secluded retreat said to cater to creatives in her predicament. The old-fashioned and rustic home she arrives at is completely automated and run by an advanced artificial intelligence, complete with a lifelike synthetic android named Rita (Heida Reed) — a caretaker and companion to its guests.

When a virus infects the home and seeps into Rita's programming, the AI turns on Claire and refuses to let her leave until she completes her book. More than psychological horror, "Blank" is a character study of a tortured woman who feels like she can never measure up to anyone's expectations. When she is left all alone against an evil AI, she's finally forced to confront her very worst fears.


Today's real AI assistants are getting more terrifying than ever, but they still remain a mere voice in a box. In "M3GAN," the AI takes the form of a lifelike human friend who begins to influence a little girl with terrifying consequences. The deadly AI in the 2019 film "A.M.I." is much more like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa — it exists solely within a device. Here it's known as A.M.I., the virtual assistant in the phone of teenaged Cassie (Debs Howard) that begins to control her life.

Cassie is already a troubled young woman who has lost her mother and is lost herself. Things only get worse when she stumbles across a used cell phone that houses a cutting-edge virtual assistant, an artificial intelligence called A.M.I. — Artificial Machine Learning. After she alters its settings so that its voice sounds like her dead mother, Cassie begins to form a disturbing bond with the digital helper. As their relationship deepens, Cassie begins to fall under its spell, which becomes all the more dangerous when A.M.I. starts compelling her to do its deadly bidding.

A mix of social sci-fi, horror, and bloody slasher, "A.M.I." hangs on the performance of Howard, who keeps the movie's story together. A brisk, breezy, bloody movie that takes the idea of a killer app quite literally, "A.M.I." is best enjoyed by those looking for some cheap thrills.

I Am Mother

With so many new movies coming direct to streaming services these days, it can be easy to overlook some great ones. Despite a strong cast that included Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne, one more great sci-fi horror thriller called "I Am Mother" flew under many people's radar in 2019. However, if you've just seen "M3GAN" and are looking for a new terrifying story of an AI helper turned killer, you'll find plenty of comparisons in this Netflix original with a grim, post-apocalyptic twist.

In "I Am Mother" we meet a young girl known only as Daughter (Clara Rugaard), whose caregiver is the titular AI robot known as Mother (Rose Byrne). They live in an isolated underground bunker following an unseen global cataclysm of some kind, and Mother has used human embryos to breed new children to help repopulate the Earth. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger (Hilary Swank) leads Daughter to ask questions about what really happened to the planet — questions that Mother doesn't want to answer. Further complicating matters is Mother's strange test, which leads Daughter to uncover dark secrets that cast doubt on Mother's true mission.

A story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, viewers should be on guard with "I Am Mother" because nothing is as it seems in this paranoid horror thriller. Though the film went largely unseen on its release, critics heaped it with praise and lauded its strong performances, stunning twists, and jaw-dropping effects.


"Tau" once again proves that some of the best AI horror stories are on the cloud. This Netflix original movie features Oscar-winner Gary Oldman as the titular Tau, an artificial intelligence that runs a smart house belonging to a genius scientist in which a young woman named Julia (Maika Monroe) finds herself unexpectedly trapped. Like "M3GAN," the AI in "Tau" is a helpful home assistant. However, the movie subverts expectations with an unexpected divergence in the well-worn story of an AI gone bad.

The genius scientist's name is Alex (Ed Skrein), who has scooped up a number of lost souls to take part in his experiments to build a better artificial intelligence. Julia is his newest subject, and Alex needs her to complete a series of tests to improve his neural network technology. However, when Julia begins spending time with the AI that controls Alex's home, she learns that his naive intellect could be the key to her escape. She also learns that there's much more to Alex's tests than some innocent exams and realizes that if she doesn't find a way out soon, she may not live to see another sunrise.

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, there's plenty of classic Frankenstein horror in "Tau," which mixes one-room torture and mad scientist vibes into something new. The film cleverly inverts ideas we've seen before, which leads to plenty of surprises — so don't think you know what's around every corner.


Like "Ex Machina," the 2015 film "Uncanny" focuses on a revolutionary artificial intelligence built into the form of a synthetic human creation, and it's mostly set in a single location featuring only a few different characters. However, "Uncanny" features far more sinister undercurrents, which makes the film just as compatible with the 2022 horror movie "M3GAN." 

The story begins with a young engineering prodigy named David Kressen (Mark Webber) who has been unseen for nearly a decade. When journalist Joy Andrews (Lucy Griffiths) finds him, she learns that he's been in seclusion while working for Simon Castle (Rainn Wilson), the head of a robotics company called Kestrel Computing. He has been sequestered there for a top-secret project — the development of groundbreaking artificial intelligence. Housed in a humanoid body of an android named Adam, the AI is tested by Andrews, who interviews Adam at the highly secured facility known as Workspace 18 to determine whether he is truly alive. 

When Adam observes the romantic connection between David and Lucy, he takes a surprising turn that even Adam's programmers can't predict. A twisted mental cat-and-mouse thriller, "Uncanny" is more restrained than "M3GAN" but will horrify you in equally unsettling ways.

The Alpha Test

"M3GAN" certainly isn't the first movie about a robotic personal assistant that turns on its human masters. There have also been big-budget blockbusters like "I, Robot" alongside sorely underrated low-budget films with similar stories. One such example is the 2020 horror B-movie "The Alpha Test." Thanks to some strong direction, well-done practical special effects, and a delightfully horrific story, it's a compelling film that will be enjoyed by those who appreciate suburban sci-fi horror.

"The Alpha Test," like "M3GAN," centers on an artificially intelligent home assistant. However, this time it's no diminutive doll but a full-sized adult replicant designed to help around the home. It enters the lives of a small-town family, but it is hardly treated like a person — let alone an equal. As an advanced AI, it records and absorbs everything around it, from television and music to the behavior of the family it lives with. When the family's disrespect and poor treatment of Alpha go too far, the robot pushes back and becomes a violent killing machine. Is Alpha's new emergent deadly personality a glitch in its programming, or simply a reflection of the world around it?

A deeply troubling mix of psychological horror and brutal slasher, "The Alpha Test"  has more to say than your typical low-budget horror movie. With some surprisingly solid visuals, it's an overlooked indie film that deserves wider recognition.


Instead of a lifelike doll, the artificial intelligence featured in "Upgrade" is housed in an advanced microchip inside the head of Grey Trace, a down-on-his-luck mechanic. In this 2018 Blumhouse cyberpunk slasher from director Leigh Whannell, Logan Marshall-Green stars as Trace, an employee of a company called Cobolt. The lead engineer of Cobalt, Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson), has just invented a bleeding edge microchip called STEM that is capable of controlling motor functions in the human brain in order to enhance the body's capabilities.

Of course, if you think Grey volunteered to become a superhero, then think again. After a deadly attack from unknown assailants, Grey's wife is killed and he's left unable to walk. Grey agrees to have STEM installed in his brain to get back on his feet, but it's not long before he realizes however that the chip is far more than a motor control device but is actually a sinister artificial intelligence. With its help, Grey sets out on a blood-soaked quest for revenge to find those responsible for the death of his wife. However. the further his mission takes him, the more Grey begins to lose himself to STEM.

On top of being a first-rate thriller, "Upgrade" is also a top-notch action film featuring compelling science fiction. It asks hard questions about the moral boundaries of technology and serves as a dire warning about the stark reality of artificial intelligence and where it could lead us if we're not careful.

Chopping Mall

If "M3GAN" had been made in the '80s, it would probably have been something like "Chopping Mall," a 1986 teen slasher about some killer robot security guards in a suburban mall. Produced by schlock auteur Roger Corman and directed by Jim Wynorski, the film stars a host of '80s horror regulars like Barbara Crampton, Dick Miller, and Kelli Maroney. 

In classic '80s horror movie fashion, we meet a group of rowdy teens who are looking to have a good time. That means drinking, partying, and having a lot of sex. Since they all work in the local Park Plaza Mall, they decide to have their fun after hours, when they can have the run of the place. The problem, however, is that the mall has just installed a trio of artificially intelligent security robots. When their programming goes haywire, they're out for blood.

Sure, "Chopping Mall" may not be the kind of creepy, disturbing story found in "M3GAN," but when it comes to AI horror slashers, it's the godfather of them all and deserves recognition. The story is flimsy, and the characters are one-note, but this kind of movie is more focused on creative kills, teen thrills, and buckets of blood. If you're shopping for a film about an AI killer that's a little more fun, "Chopping Mall" will definitely satisfy.

2001: A Space Odyssey

If you're a horror fan who rarely dips into space-based science fiction, you may only be familiar with "2001: A Space Odyssey" for its reputation as a slow-moving, cerebral classic with a deeper meaning that confounds audiences to this day. While it's definitely all of those things, it's also a terrifying story of an artificial intelligence that turns against the human crew of a deep space starship. If you were struck by the idea of an AI gone mad in "M3GAN" and have the patience for something more trippy, "2001: A Space Odyssey" should absolutely be at the top of your queue.

Set in the relatively near future, the film opens with the discovery of a strange black obelisk of alien origin beneath the surface of the moon — where it's apparently been for millions of years. When the artifact begins emitting a strange signal aimed at Jupiter, a team of specialists led by Dr. Dave Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole aboard the spacecraft Discovery One is sent to investigate. During their journey, the artificial intelligence that controls the ship, known as HAL 9000, begins to exhibit strange behavior, and Bowman starts to believe it is trying to kill them for an unknown reason.

A groundbreaking cinematic experience, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is considered one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time for a good reason. Thanks to filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, the film goes from a mind-bending space adventure into a jaw-dropping thriller about a killer AI that wound up earning four Academy Award nominations, including best screenplay and best director.

Christmas Bloody Christmas

There are all kinds of movies about dangerous AI, from stories about malfunctioning disembodied computer systems to smart toys that turn deadly to robots whose programming inadvertently turns them into killers. If you want a movie about a killer AI and are feeling the holiday spirit, there's one recent release that will get your bells jingling. Instead of a deranged computer or a human doll, though, "Christmas Bloody Christmas" is all about a sentient android designed to entertain children with yuletide cheer in the guise of Santa Claus. 

Initially developed by the Department of Defense for military applications, the robot's AI is repurposed into an android Santa for exhibitions at public events and holiday store promotions. On Christmas Eve, we meet Tori Tooms (Riley Dandy), owner of a local record store who's just closing up for the holiday alongside employee Robbie (Sam Delich) when one of the robot Santas (Abraham Benrubi) comes to life with a mind of its own. Breaking out of the confines of a nearby toy store, the robot Santa goes on a killing spree that puts Tori and Robbie in his sights.

Full of tongue-in-cheek humor and razor-sharp satire, "Christmas Bloody Christmas" mixes the over-the-top fun of "Violent Night" with the AI nightmare fuel of "M3GAN" to create a one-of-a-kind holiday horror movie. The killer AI might not be cute, but it's sure to leave your stockings soaked in blood.