Abigail (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Smartly written with standout performances from Barrera and Stevens, Abigail delivers memorable dialogue that elevates the horror experience.

What is more terrifying than a pre-teen, ballerina?  For many people, lots of things but for Joey (Melissa Barrera; Scream), Frank (Dan Stevens; The Guest), Rickles (William Catlett; Constellation), Sammy (Kathryn Newton; Freaky), Peter (Kevin Durand; X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Dean (Angus Cloud; Euphoria) that 12-year-old girl is their worst nightmare. From the Directors of 2019's Ready or Not and 2022's Scream comes a new horror movie, Abigail, who...you guessed it, is a pre-teen girl with a passion for ballet.  However, when the group kidnaps Abigail (Alisha Weir; Matilda: The Musical) for the ransom money,  they get a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Abigail is the daughter of a rich and powerful man and Joey, Frank, Rickles, Sammy, Dean, and Peter agree to kidnap her to earn their cut of the ransom money.  The whole thing is very secretive and nobody knows who Abigail's father is.  The only thing the group of six needs to do to get paid millions is keep her alive in a remote, dilapidated mansion in the woods for 24 hours which is easier said than done.  As it turns out though, Abigail is a vampire who likes playing with her food before she eats it and the six would-be kidnappers find out the old tropes of how to kill a vampire won't necessarily work.

With a somewhat smart script and a pretty decent cast, Abigail has the potential to be the next great horror movie but, despite all the pluses, the result doesn't add up to a little more than average. Having been a big fan of Ready or Not, I was excited to see what Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett would do this time around.  With some good jump scares, they certainly bring the horror element to the film but the gore is way too over the top making it almost a mockery of good horror gore. There is also a lag in Act Two that drags out the whole film unnecessarily.

Barrera garners a lot of attention every time she is on screen and she portrays her street smart and savvy character well.  Unfortunately, her drama tarnishes her reputation and may cost her roles in the future. Stevens often plays the unlikeable, somewhat creepy, bad guy and Frank keeps him true to form.  Newton's always enjoyable to watch on screen, even if the movie isn't great and the rest of the cast blends well making the ensemble scenes fun.  The weakest link, unfortunately, is Weir.  Her acting is merely ok and her dancing isn't much better.

The script is fairly intelligent with Barrera and Stevens getting many of the best lines.  Joey's game of "Guess the Criminal" is entertaining and reminded me a little bit of Aaron Sorkin's work.  There are a few funny moments, usually at the dim-witted Dean's expense. Weir gets a few as well and manages to pull them off giving some comedic breaks between the scares and gore.  However, the script isn't as good as Ready or Not and that may be why, even with the same directing team, the film doesn't work quite as well.

Abigail will do well in theaters and I'm certain there will be a sequel.  I only hope there is enough grape/strawberry jelly in the country to accommodate all the gore that will need to be spewed in round two.  Personally, in this case, I think one is enough and perhaps even a little too much but maybe if Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett tone down the gore and cut the run time by about 10 minutes or so, I could tolerate an Abigail 2: Return of the Slime.

Grade: 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. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

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


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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