Review: 'Abigail'

 By: Heather Seebach

The filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence burst onto the scene with their standout segment in the original V/H/S (the final sequence, with the friends headed to a Halloween party). Since then, they gave us a few more anthology shorts, some Scream sequels, and most importantly, Ready or Not, of which I am a huge fan. Their latest, Abigail, is another carnage-filled romp with a fantastic cast. 

A team of criminals-for-hire are assembled to kidnap the daughter of a mysterious millionaire. They are tasked with babysitting the hostage for 24 hours while the ransom demand is made. They soon learn that getting caught is the least of their worries as their young captive is actually a bloodthirsty vampire.

As the titular bloodsucker, Alisha Weir is a scenery-chewing delight. The trailers overly-emphasize her creepy ballet dancing (thanks M3GAN), but the best bits are actually just her talking shit and taking heads with absolute glee. Opposite her is the team of professional criminals which includes Melissa Barrera (a solid heroine); Dan Stevens (a standout, as always); Kevin Durand (bringing the bulk of the comedic relief as a big ol' dum-dum); and rising scream queen, Kathryn Newton (who gets some of the films best moments). 

The locale and the character dynamic reminded me of Demon Knight and From Dusk Til Dawn, with sprinkles of Night of the Demons. The pacing drags a bit at the beginning but once Abigail is let loose, the gory madness begins. Much like Ready or Not, this one goes all in on the explosive bloodsplatter, which, along with its sizeable sense of humor, makes the film a surefire crowd-pleaser. 

My only complaints are some hokey dialogue and the piranha-like vampire teeth which I found really distracting. Call me old-fashioned but I like the classic long canines, as opposed to a mouthful of protruding fangs that give the actor a lisp. 

Abigail is not without its flaws but thanks to gore, good casting, and a wickedly funny bite, it is a good time for horror fans, especially those who miss when vampire films were actually fun back in the 80s and 90s. 

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