Abigail Review: A Bloody Good Time

Abigail Review: A Bloody Good Time

On the heels of their 2023 releases of Last Voyage of the Demeter and Renfield, Universal is back with another vampire movie - this time in the form of a 12 year old ballerina.

In their take on Dracula's Daughter (1936), Abigail is about a seemingly normal girl who is kidnapped by a group of criminals and held for ransom inside a gothic mansion for 24 hours. But, as we know from the trailers, this heist is not going to go the way that they planned.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

If you are familiar with Radio Silence, the team behind Ready or Not, Scream V and VI, then you already know what to expect. Abigail is gory, bloody, funny, and a campy good time. With a runtime of 109 minutes, it's a wild ride with some twists and turns and a helping of funny jokes that land pretty well.

While the story itself is predictable, the journey to the end is still fun and engaging. When it's revealed to the team that little Abigail, who has been playing them by pretending to be distraught and scared, is actually a hundreds year old vampire, a game of cat and mouse ensues. Set in a mansion straight out of an Agatha Christie novel (there's even a reference to And Then There Were None), we witness the team try to make it through the night as they are ultimately picked off one by one.

But what stands out are the characters. Guy Busick, who's written with Radio Silence before, along with Stephen Shields (The Hole in the Ground), crafted a group of characters that feel like real people. From the late Angus Cloud's Dean to Kevin Durand's Peter, you know exactly the type of characters they will be and they compliment each other and the story very well. Melissa Barrera, who has collaborated with Radio Silence on previous projects, portrays Joey, this anti-heroine that is dealing with her past choices and Kathryn Newton, who slayed in Lisa Frankenstein, is a quirky hacker who is in it for the kicks.  Each of the characters deliver solid performances that outshine much of what we've seen from horror movies in theaters so far this year (I'm looking at you Blumhouse).

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Abigail, played by Alisha Weir from Matilda (2022), serves us a dynamic performance with sweet girl next door energy to blood sucking demon energy with flair. She is taunting, menacing and downright terrifying in some moments and adorable and seemingly helpless in others. This young actress is going to be one to watch for in the future. 

In lieu of its effort to keep you on your toes, it does start to lose its footing near the end. The final scene has a different tone that the rest of the movie. It felt like they didn't quite know how to close it out and we are left with a mishmash of ideas (maybe even a setup for a prequel) and a comedic line to give movie goers one final laugh.

Abigail is purely, a bloody good time that delivers on what the trailer promised, folks just trying to survive a night with "a ballerina vampire".

Letterboxd Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Unhinged Ballerinas Letterboxd List


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