“ABIGAIL” Review

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From Universal and the duo known as Radio Silence – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not, Scream) comes the horror film Abigail. Abigail is not your ordinary vampire film; it is almost like three genres in one. The film starts off as a heist movie, then morphs into supernatural drama, then into a horror/comedic cocktail of chaos and mayhem with plenty of action. It was fun to watch and very self-aware. What really makes this work is a strong ensemble of good actors who play characters that are interesting and intriguing. Six mercenary criminals are given a job to complete where they will collect 50 million dollars if they kidnap ballerina Abigail played by the brilliant Alisha Weir. She stars as the 12-year-old daughter of a wealthy and mysterious crime boss and they watch over her for 24 hours at an empty mansion they have been instructed to go to. Now this is when the kidnapping begins to take a turn for the worse, as they begin to start to slowly discover that they are way out of their league as they begin to realize they are dealing with supernatural forces that are beyond them. We also get a nice cameo from Giancarlo Esposito as the mysterious Lambert. It turns out that they are the ones that are trapped and begin getting hunted one by one for sport by a centuries old bloodthirsty vampire who looks like a prima ballerina. The practical effects, blood, gore and humor really reminded me of classic films from within the vampire lore in the 1980’s such as Fright Night and The Lost Boys, incorporating the pop culture of vampires along with the events going on and the characters being self aware and not completely in denial. I enjoyed the use of ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky, including the remixed version of it which makes it quite unnerving to the atmosphere and the perfect theme for the character of Abigail. Abigail is still currently on release worldwide in cinemas exclusively.

MEET THE CREW:

Joey (Melissa Barrera) is a former army medic and single mum trying to leave behind her inner demons and former life as an addict. She ends up forming an unlikely connection with Abigail, and also sweet tooth connected to her past of being an addict. Melissa Barrera (Scream VI) once again shows that she can carry and help lead a movie, with her visceral energy, passion and on screen charisma that you always want to root for her in whatever project she is in, is fast becoming one of the biggest rising stars in film and TV as well as a modern day scream queen. She once again shows her ability to taken on another physically demanding role.

Okay. What do we know about vampires?

Frank (Dan Stevens) plays a former detective who got too comfortable with the criminal life that he become a mercenary. Solely focused on the mission and self-deprecating, he will not allow any of his crew to take their eyes off the prize and be distracted. Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey, Legion) is in comedic top form, with some hilarious one liners and social commentary.

 “I fucking hate ballet.

Rickles (William Catlett) is a former Marine and sharp-shooter who has a no nonsense way about his work. He doesn’t trust many people but will have to as his life depends on it when things begin to get out of control. William Catlett has been building a very distinguished resume of work over the past decade starring in acclaimed projects such as Black Lightning, Lovecraft Country, True Story and many more, showcasing his in-depth array of skills as a performer.

“Hey listen, I don’t trust any of these other fucks, so let’s watch each others backs?”

Sammy (Kathryn Newton) is the always perky and tattooed tech-girl and hacker of the group. She does this for fun and is always looking for a new thrill. Her jovial interaction with Peter is entertaining as laughter is a way for her coping with the groups dangerous predicament. Kathryn Newton (Supernatural, Freaky, Big Little Liars) really shines as we get to watch her comedic and perky charisma on screen. The dance scene between Sammy and Abigail is a highlight of the movie, and both actress’s backgrounds in gymnastics, ballet and dance were showcased.

What are we talking about, like an Anne Rice or a True Blood? You know Twilight? Very different kind of vampires.

Peter (Kevin Durand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is the big Canadian muscle of the crew. He is a former enforcer for hire and while he is here for business, he enjoys a good laugh too, which sometimes does not go down well with his colleagues. Peter’s love for a drink and ability to not take things so seriously, makes him bond with Sammy as they are on the same wavelength, but this clashes with the rest of the crew. The big Canadian veteran gets to show off his comedic skills on the screen and looks to be having fun while doing it.

Vampire on my ass!

Dean (Angus Cloud) is the wheelman of the crew, a talented but young eccentric getaway driver who’s far too laid back for the rest of the crew. He likes to have far too much fun for everybody’s liking. Angus was mainly known for his work on Euphoria, the popular TV series. Sadly this was Angus Cloud’s last film as he passed away in 2023, and the film is dedicated to him.

“I’m the best motherfucking wheelman in this town!”

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