Abigail (2024)

Sometimes long in the tooth, other times ferociously funny but consistently blood soaked, Abigail is as cheeky as it is vicious. The team behind the ultimate tale in family dysfunction, Ready or Not take a swing at a vampiric genre bender that would sit snugly next to the likes of From Dusk til Dawn. Lead by a nasty little beacon of charisma and teeth, and with crimson shades of Near Dark and 30 Days of Night, Abigail is a fun time aimed at a rowdy midnight crowd with a penchant for splatter and adolescent obscenities. 

A chocolate box assortment of professional crims nab a 12 year old ballerina from a soon-to-be poorer member of affluence. Giancarlo Esposito’s Lambert gathers the crew at a mansion ripped straight from the frames of an old Hammer film. Forced to lay low while their hefty payday comes through, the team find themselves in over their heads when they find the little girl may not be as innoccent as she seems. As members of the group turn up headless and faceless, what started as a simple snatch-and-grab soon turns into a survival for sunrise as the fangs come out and the bloodletting begins. 

Abigail works best when the audience doesn’t know what it’s in for. If you’ve managed to avoid the myriad of trailers and reactions so far, you’re in for a treat and I’d advise clicking away from this review (cheers for reading), and come back once you’ve seen the film. At 110 minutes, a good chunk of runtime is devoted to watching the group discover what the audience already knows and you can’t help but feel either some of that time could be truncated or put to better use. That being said, when the chaos kicks off, it’s a bloody good time.

Directors Matt Bettinell-Olpin and Tyler Gillet have assembled themselves a cohort of cast mates with chemistry up to the eyeballs. As the terror and sheer absurdity of the situation sets in, it’s darkly hilarious to watch our possible victims frantically pin-ball off each other as the viscera begins to fly. Dan Stevens as the bespectacled and slimy Frank is a great turn for the blue eyed Brit, who oozes scummy charm while Melissa Barrera continues to flex her final girl muscles, never a letting even a drop of red she finds herself covered in dull her brightness. Her wild confusion and panic makes way for a third act brawler that will have some crowds cheering. 

All praise to the cast, but this is Alisha Weir’s moment through and through. The young Matilda: The Musical star is the far-and-away standout of the film, as she pirouettes and gnashes her way to stardom. She effortlessly pulls off the frightened little child and fun-sized Luciferian hell hound at the snap of a neck. It’s deeply funny watching her chase the adults around the house, especially the Canadian behemoth that is Kevin Durand. I’m not sure I’m ready to fully examine the psychic damage that had me guffawing at a 12 year old demon-child using a small crucifix to try to excavate someone’s heart from their chest. 

If you’ve seen Ready or Not then you know that the Radio Silence crew came to play. Abigail continues their darkly hilarious and absurd form of horror and violence, effectively tapping into what makes a wicked combination such a crowd pleaser. Abigail is one tiny dancer you don’t want anywhere near you. 

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