Abigail – REVIEW

Abigail - the ballerina...who is a vampire

Cinema has had a fascination with characters with bad teeth:  Dracula, Austin Powers and a rumoured live action killer animal beaver film was in the works until Ken Dodd passed on the script. The latest is Abigail,  twelve year old girl and keen ballerina by day and fearsome vampire by night. Except the gang who collude to kidnap her for a $50m ransom are wholly unaware of this.

Whisked away to a disused mansion by the gang where under orders from the boss Giancarlo Esposito who takes their mobile phones (which in fairness owing to the tropes of this type of film were never going to work in times of emergency) before he slopes off and leaves them on babysitting detail. The gang are an eclectic bunch of stereotypes – the muscle, the psycho, the punk, the space cadet, the tech expert, the sympathetic female and so on – all with a back story and all utterly disposable when they find that Abigail (Alisha Weir) starts getting a bit peckish for a neck to nibble on. And if their victim in their charge being a vampire is not enough they soon find that her father is psychotic and callously vicious underworld boss feared by ….well just about everyone.

Written by Stephen Shields and Guy Busick this is heavily influenced by 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter – which was far from good – but this variation is wafer thin and it gives directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett (Scream 5 & 6) the opportunity to return to the sprawling mansion of their debut feature ‘Ready or Not’ for a group of characters to run around and wreak havoc and in this instance it is extremely bloody havoc with some explosively bloody carnage as they get bitten by Abigail and evolve into vampires themselves.

There’s a decent cast here led by Melissa Barrera who is the character for the audience to sympathize and underplaying the role that is a relief compared to Dan Stevens, usually a great screen presence but here a shouty, sweary psycho that begins to grate very quickly. That the film references Agatha Christie ‘And then there were none’ reflects the ever shrinking cast as they are offed but the deaths, though gory, are not as imaginative as might be hoped and has the odd plot hole – one character gets killed by a stream of daylight and yet at the end of the film it’s still night. And the gang are generically dim and what should be a great opportunity to cast a big name star as Abigail’s father is disappointingly underwhelming

Abigail is entertaining enough it is a little overlong but has little unexpected plot twist in the thinnest of plots with few surprises and ultimately is disposable, if at time gory, horror.

related feature : The story behind the making of Scream 5…..

related feature : Anechka Marchenko & Aviis Zhong talk ‘Dead and Beautiful’

Here’s the Abigail trailer…..


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