Abigail (2024) Blu-ray Review

4 Min Read

You will have plenty to enjoy with Abigail from beginning to end and I would love to see another movie in this universe.

Abigail (2024) Blu-ray Review
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Horror fans of a certain age (Gen X, I'm talking to you) tend to take their horror extremely seriously. In all fairness we grew up in the golden age of horror films, 70's-80's so we tend to be very selective about what constitutes good horror. Sometimes this can color our opinions and lead us to dismiss a film that is otherwise a really solid entry in the genre. There is a real urge to dismiss the next A24-, polished Avant Garde piece of celluloid. I won't complain much since I tend to gravitate to many of their films, however, my point is, I hear "New horror movies suck" or "There are no good horror movies out, now" too often.

There's a ton of great new horror movies out there if you just keep your eyes and blackened- Hearts open to them. Case in point, after I saw the trailer for Abigail, I immediately was interested (despite my hatred for the modern trailer and their incessant need to give away the entire movie in 2 minutes).

In the spirit of "Get Off My Lawn," I feel like the creators of Abigail did a great job of taking the familiar horror tropes, and giving horror fans a solid nod to the old-school while creating something modern. If you were a fan of director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's sleeper "Ready or Not", and I certainly was, you will find similar elements here, with a creepy and gory twist.

For those new to this one:

Radio Silence, the filmmakers behind the horror hits Ready or Not, Scream (2022) and Scream VI, bring a brash and bloodthirsty new vision of vampires with Abigail. A heist team is hired by a mysterious fixer to kidnap the daughter of a powerful underworld figure. They must guard the 12-year-old ballerina for one night to net a $50 million ransom. As the captors start to dwindle one by one, they discover to their mounting terror that they're locked inside an isolated mansion with no ordinary little girl.

Simple enough premise, but take an ordinary bunch of hired cutthroats and thrust them into an inescapable situation, then mix in some supernatural horror and you have a fun and gory 109-minute-long thrill-ride.

There is a rogue's gallery of villains in this one, and you come to appreciate each character's quirks but you still root for each of them to get their comeuppance. And that is what makes this one so much bloody good fun.  Additionally, the set pieces in Abigail are interesting, and creepy and leave you wanting more.

I love the 'Reservoir Dogs' approach to the characters' nomenclature - to avoid identifying one another they resort to aliases taken from the Rat Pack-Sammy, Frank, Dean, etc.

The scene where they get to know each other and have Joey reveal some of their secrets is an especially fun way to reveal the characters' backgrounds.  Through the protagonist, Joey's (Melissa Barrera; Scream), uncanny ability to "read" the truth about a person we learn something about each of them. I enjoyed the banter and antagonism between the characters, and their inability to trust or work well together when their lives are on the line.

There is also great writing by Stephen Shields (Hunted) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not).  They get the essence of old-time horror without making the dialogue especially cheesy.  The plot is interesting as the "team" must wait in the house for 24 hours with the kidnapped, Abigail (Alisha Weir; Wicked Little Letters), and await Giancarlo Esposito's (Breaking Bad) return. At this point, each Rat Packer will receive an equal share of $50 Million.

What follows is a blood-soaked orgy of cool-kills and vampiric cat and mouse. They are chased around the imposing mansion (prison) and are wiped out, one by one. By the third act, Abigail reveals why each Rat was selected for this little game, and how they are her captives (dinner).

As I stated before, the premise is familiar, yet they do an outstanding job of keeping the viewer engaged right up to the end.

There are a few moments where you empathize with Joey, and her plight which brought her to such a lowly state (dinner for a blood-sucking ballerina) and you will root for her and Abigail when they team up to beat the real threat.

By the end, all is right with the (under) World and Joey escapes to be with her estranged son.

A stellar release the Blu-ray looks as good at home as it did when I saw it in the theater with a 1080p resolution, and an original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The film shines throughout the darkened halls of the Victorian "deathtrap", and the gouts of blood, decapitated bodies and gore are so vibrant that they will have you screaming for more, especially during the "blood bath" scenes, which were filled with so much claret that you will not believe your eyes.

The movie also sounds fantastic.  With an English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DVS Dolby Digital, you will be fully immersed in the action, from the creepy silences to the chase scenes, and screams of terror. One of the creepier scenes which uses the silence and atmosphere to the best of the audio's capabilities is the scene with Sammy (Kathryn Newton, Freaky) and Peter (Kevin Durand; X-Men Origins: Wolverine) in the hallway. You will not be disappointed. ("Sammy's Not Here."). Also, keep your ears peeled for Brian Tyler's (MaXXXine) film score which I enjoyed. It was at times gentle and moving, as well as unsettling and possessed of an edge-of-your-seat quality, which worked well throughout the film (play 'Caution Will Bite' and tell me what you think).

As for the special features, you have a gag reel, the Blood Bath Short which is sure to please, Hunters to Hunted, and Becoming a Ballerina. And the Directing Duo of Matt and Tyler.

I enjoyed Abigail, and though it's not perfect, few films are. This one swings for the fences and at least makes it to the outfield.

You will have plenty to enjoy with this one from beginning to end and I would love to see another movie in this universe. Maybe we could see the backstory of how Abigail and her Father, Lazar (Matthew Goode; Downton Abbey) the crime lord, were first turned, or their exploits throughout the centuries.

Whatever the case, Abigail is far from a bloodless horror movie, and it does an admirable job of blending elements of Crime Noir, Action, and Comedy, too.

Sink your teeth into Abigail, and buy this one, it will keep you entertained until sunrise.

B+


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 109 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

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For more information about Abigail visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Leonard Buccellato please click here.

Abigail images are courtesy of Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Leonard   Buccellato

Leonard's lifelong passion for movies began at a young age with his fascination for the horror classic Blacula. This love of movies has inspired him to explore his creative interests, resulting in his writing of short stories and co-producing a web series. Currently, he is developing a horror novel, showcasing his love of storytelling. His diverse interests, including his enjoyment of Dungeons and Dragons, make him a multifaceted individual committed to exploring new ideas and experiences through movies and literature.


Read More Abigail Reviews

Movie / Film Review
Smartly written with standout performances from Barrera and Stevens, Abigail delivers memorable dialogue that elevates the horror experience.
Full Review | Grade: B


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