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Abigail
A quite entertaining, and incredibly gory, horror comedy.

Abigail

Release Date: April 19, 2024
Runtime: 01:49
Synopsis:
After a group of criminals kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure, they retreat to an isolated mansion, unaware that they’re locked inside with no normal little girl.

Table of Contents

A group of criminals discovers that the 12-year-old ballerina they kidnapped is a bloodthirsty vampire in . A gang of criminals consisting of Joey (), Frank (), Sammy (), Peter (), Rickles (), and Dean () are hired by Lambert () to kidnap 12-year-old ballerina Abigail () and hold her in an isolated mansion for 24 hours, as her father is extorted for a $50 million ransom. However, they soon discover that Abigail is not a normal little girl.

Abigail Synopsis

Abigail is a darkly humourous vampire horror film directed by the Radio Silence duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not). The directors are reunited with star Melissa Barrera (Scream, Scream VI) as Joey, a recovering addict, who joins this kidnapping job as a way to make easy money. Dan Stevens (The Guest, Cuckoo) co-stars as Frank, the de facto leader of this crew, which also includes tech expert Sammy, played by Kathryn Newton (Freaky, Lisa Frankenstein), Quebecois muscle Peter, played by Keven Durand (The Strain), lookout Rickles, played by William Catlett, and getaway driver Dean, played by the late Angus Cloud (Euphoria).

Then there is the titular Abigail, played by young Irish actress Alisha Weir (Matilda: The Musical, Wicked Little Letters). Initially appearing as a scared 12-year-old girl, Joey promises Abigail that nothing will happen to her. However, it soon turns out that Abigail's safety is not what the crew has to worry about, as they discover that Abigail is a centuries-old vampire and that the entire job was a ruse to lure the criminals to be her next meal. As the mansion goes into lockdown, this group of criminals has to fight for survival.

My Thoughts of Abigail

The Radio Silence team of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and co-writer Guy Busick initially began Abigail as a modern Universal Monsters film loosely based on 1936's Dracula's Daughter. Instead, the film became its monster, pun intended, taking a page out of 2019's Ready or Not by having the action take place in an isolated mansion for 24 hours. Of course, not all of these criminals survive over this course of time, with Abigail arguably featuring the goriest kills of Radio Silence's short filmography.

The biggest criticism I have about Abigail does not pertain to the film itself, but instead its marketing. Both the trailer and the poster make it obvious from the start that Abigail is a vampire. However, within the plot of the film itself, this is not a reveal that happens until nearly an hour into the film. When members of this crew begin turning up dead, the suspicion is initially placed on a mythical mob enforcer. It is only when Abigail releases herself from her chains that her true vampiric nature is revealed.

However, I am not going to hold the spoilers within Abigail‘s marketing against the film. The film is still an incredibly entertaining film bolstered by great performances by the ensemble. In particular, Dan Stevens is revealing himself to be quite a character actor, with his performance as Frank in this film straddling the line between being somewhat likeable and a complete jerk. Also, with this being her first role since her very politically-motivated firing from the seventh Scream film, Melissa Barrera proves with her lead role in Abigail that it is the Scream franchise's loss that she will not be coming back. Also, in a very moving gesture, Abigail features a dedication to actor Angus Cloud, who tragically died of a drug overdose last summer, shortly after completing his work on this film.

Overall, Abigail is an incredibly entertaining and darkly humourous vampire film that helps to cement Radio Silence as one of the better horror filmmaking teams around. At this point, I'll probably see anything Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directs, no questions asked.

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Trailer for Abigail

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.