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Since Ready or Not hit cinemas back in 2019, Radio Silence team Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have been ones to watch, consistently impressing horror fans with gory kills, kick-ass final girls and unique ideas, even within their franchise films. Their newest flick Abigail, heavily inspired by the likes of The Lost Boys and From Dusk Till Dawn, is their first foray into the vampire sub-genre. With a stellar ensemble cast, buckets of blood and guts, laugh-out-loud funny comedy and a tight single location thriller setting, Abigail may just be their biggest hit yet.


A group of would-be criminals kidnaps the 12-year-old daughter of a powerful underworld figure. Holding her for ransom in an isolated mansion, their plan starts to unravel when they discover their young captive is actually a bloodthirsty vampire.


The Abigail cast has been one of the biggest talking points leading up to the films release, and rightly so - it’s full of greats. Due to her incredible performance in the two latest Scream films, many were excited to see Melissa Barrera in the genre again - she’s fantastic. Likable from the offset due to her kind nature, Barrera shines in her role as criminal Joey, who we quickly learn has had a troubled life. Horror royalty Kathryn Newton plays Sammy, a ditzy and lovable hacker who is incredibly charming and fun. Kevin Durand is just downright hilarious as Peter, a man with a hard exterior and a particularly soft interior, delivering funny one-liners during every scene. Late Angus Cloud shines in his final performance, doing exactly what he does best and putting a smile on our faces effortlessly. Within our bunch of would-be criminals, it is Dan Stevens who shines and steals every scene he is in. He has so much charisma and the further the plot progresses, the more he gets to show off his range. He is a star. In the titular role as vampire ballerina Abigail is Alisha Weir, and she’s utterly fantastic. Flawlessly flitting between sugar sweet and spine-chillingly terrifying, Weir showcases tremendous talent at such a young age. From Matilda to Abigail, the girl’s got range. We have a proper ensemble cast on our hands, and they are all magnetic.


Similarly to Radio Silence’s Ready or Not, Abigail doubles up as both a horror and a single-location thriller. The set design of the house works nicely, as it’s lush and lavish yet very claustrophobic with its small rooms and creepy dark corridors. The heist plot is paid attention to and developed just as much as the horror, making for a really competent crime thriller that seamlessly blends its elements together with a thorough story that grounds it. The genre mash-up works well, Radio Silence proving once again that they know how to create an effective horror thriller set in a grand location. From a technical standpoint it’s very impressive, with an incredible score that cleverly uses piano music, consistently engaging cinematography, aesthetically pleasing color grading and great editing. It moves at a very fast pace and is always entertaining. Due to its genre blend, Abigail will appeal to fans of action, thriller, comedy and most importantly horror.

The plot on display here is as wild as the trailer suggests. It takes a little while to get to the vampire antics, which is a shame as you know what’s coming, but once this gets going it’s unstoppable. Full of laughs from start to finish, Abigail is an utterly hilarious flick that even enters laugh-a-minute territory during some sequences. Thoroughly understanding the balance between dark horror and clever comedy, it handles both themes perfectly well tonally, ending up as hilarious as it is creepy.


Abigail is an incredibly gory ride with buckets of blood spilled, plenty of vampire shenanigans, frequent action-packed fight scenes and entertaining kill sequences. In true Radio Silence style, their is a very satisfying climax with more bloodshed than you could ever imagine. It plays around with tropes of the sub-genre including stakes and garlic, turning those ideas on their head to make for a unique and often satirical watch. The vampire visuals are extra creepy, the fear-factor intensified by the fact that our creature of the night is a young girl. The ballet element is used effectively; whether Abigail is dancing with corpses or killing her victims mid-pirouette, its a unique and fun angle that has a worthwhile place in the film. Abigail is fast-paced, busy and full of energy, sweeping you up into its madness from the get-go. It’s a carnage-fuelled ride and a fun one at that. Amongst all the chaos, this manages to insert plenty of character development, some nice quieter moments between our band of misfits and exploration of one really gut-punching theme - the importance of showing up as a parent. It takes on a lot, but delivers in every aspect.

It may take a while for Abigail to bare her teeth, and it does suffer from multiple-ending syndrome during the third act. Despite being consistently engaging, it has two or three moments that feel like endings, with the script then continuing to deliver more. Everything we get is worth seeing, but it can be a little jarring. That being said, Abigail is a roaring success. It’s a successful vampire horror, showcasing the best aspects of the sub-genre and ensuring a bloody, gory and blood-soaked time. Doubling up nicely as a comedy, delivering exceptionally well crafted laughs by a cast with perfect comedic timing and bundles of charm. The setting is gorgeous, the score is chilling, the acting is exemplary and the carnage is thoroughly entertaining. The trailer may show a lot, but Abigail is full of twists, turns and shockers - if you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Funny, horrifying and wildly unique, Abigail is a triumph.


Rating When Evil Lurks



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