'Abigail' is not your typical vampire fare of horror and gore

‘Abigail’ is not your typical vampire fare of horror and gore

By: - Contributor
/ 02:41 PM April 18, 2024

'Abigail' is not your typical vampire fare of horror and gore | Alisha Weir devours the big screen as the titular bloodsucker in "Abigail."

Alisha Weir devours the big screen as the titular bloodsucker in “Abigail.”

Horror fans continue to feast as the genre serves up another winner in “Abigail.” The latest film from Radio Silence co-creators and directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett is a reboot of the 1936 monster classic, “Dracula’s Daughter.” Though the titular character also harbors unresolved relationship issues with her infamous fanged father, the similarities between the original and the latest cinematic iteration end there. Unlike its predecessor, “Abigail” is an entertaining romp filled with action, humor, and barrels of fake blood.

The instructions are clear and direct: abduct a girl, hide her in a mansion, and wait for the ransom. Carried with uncommon ease, a group of kidnappers scored the biggest jackpot of their lives—until our clueless criminals discovered her real identity. Handcuffed in one of the bedrooms is the daughter of a notorious crime boss, and based on his reputation, compassion is not one of his strong traits. But as the night gets deeper, they soon find out that the apple does not fall far from the tree, as bodies pile up around our charming ballerina.


Based on their previous films, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett seem to have developed a knack for juggling gore, gags, and good time, and their latest vampire fare is further confirmation. The first half lulls the audience into thinking it is a standard jump-scare-filled vampire movie until it turns up the bonkers notch to the maximum in the second half. The parameters are imprecise, but the moment blood splatters onto the camera lens means the audience is in for a delicious treat.


READ: Why it was ‘so easy’ for Ben Schwartz to act with Nicolas Cage in ‘Renfield’

A big reason the film works is the incredible performance of lead star Alisha Weir. Dressed in a blood-soaked tutu and fanged up with stained canine teeth, she is in full command as the murderous princess of the undead who prefers to pirouette to classical music before chomping off arterial veins. Considering her breakout role is the screen adaptation of “Matilda the Musical,” her range is off the charts and is just too good.

Life deals a group of clueless kidnappers the ultimate reverse card--a deadly night with a monstrous predator.

Life deals a group of clueless kidnappers the ultimate reverse card–a deadly night with a monstrous predator.

The rest of the cast is likewise excellent. Fresh off a hilarious turn as the titan veterinarian in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” Dan Stevens delivers another unhinged performance as the de facto leader of the kidnappers, Frank. Last seen in “Lisa Frankenstein,” Kathryn Newton pads her horror resume with another memorable appearance. We will not elaborate, but there is a particular sequence where she almost stole the film. But the unquestionable heart of the film is Melissa Barrera as the rehabilitated druggie single mother. She is a bona fide star, and we hope she is not on a blacklist because no person should lose their livelihood for condemning genocide.

This year promises another bountiful crop of horror films, and while some of the big hitters are still on the horizon, “Abigail” can stake a claim as one of the genre’s most entertaining offerings of the year.

We need a precise term to describe the indefinable but unmistakable fun a person feels when a vampire explodes from the impalement of a wooden stake. Germans better come up with something. “Yaasferatu,” perhaps?

“Abigail” opens on April 17 in PH cinemas.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Dracula, horror film

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.