Abigail Movie Review

“Abigail” is a blood-soaked breath of fresh, centuries-old crypt air. It is delivered the form of a ‘criminal gang job’ movie. The gang is a real Pack of Rats — according to the mastermind planner. The kidnapping of a young girl is center-stage, until the curtains are drawn back. Then it is revealed that the girl is something more. The young girl loves to perform ballet, but it is the hapless gang that needs to be on their toes…



Abigail (played by Alisha Weir) is a twelve-year old ballet lover, and the daughter to a very wealthy man. Her father is also very dangerous and in charge of a world-wide crime family. None of these facts are given to motley cast of gang members who are called together by a master-mind named Lambert (played by Giancarlo Esposito).


Six people are assembled and given the task to ‘abduct and babysit’ for a 24-hour period. They cannot use their real names. He gives all the gang members code names from the 1960’s ‘Rat Pack’. There is Frank (played by Dan Stevens), who is the gang leader and knows Lambert. Also, there is Joey (played by Melissa Barrera), once an Army medic, who will monitor the child.


They have Dean (played by Angus Cloud) as a getaway driver and Sammy (played by Kathryn Newton) – the person who can hack into the security systems. With the rest of the pack are Peter (played by Kevin Durand), a man with more muscle then mind power. Then finally there is Don Rickles (played by William Catlett). He is former military sharpshooter. This gang sets out to snatch and grab and wait it out.


The kidnapping goes well, and the crew arrives at the hideout. It is disturbingly creepy old mansion, and that is where Lambert assigns the ‘Pack Rat’ names. He’s outta there, and the group now needs to lay low until the kid’s old man pays up. Joey is given the task to check up on Abigail every hour.


She and the minor child have a heart-to-heart talk. Joey feels sorry for youngster, and removes her blindfold. She also removes Abigail’s metal chain attached to her handcuffs. The little victim is scared of what is going to happen. She thinks that Frank is too hot-tempered and will try and hurt her.


Joey makes a ‘pinky-promise’ with young Abigail. She will not let anything happen to her child patient. Abigail is still dressed in her white ballet tutu and her ballet slippers. She looks so adorable, that Joey starts to remember her own child. Joey had problems with an Army injury, and then with too many drugs. Her kid was taken away, and she wants to get paid from this job to be with her kid. She goes back down to the crew, to let them know that things will be fine.


But things are not fine. Frank gets wind of Abigail’s father, and he knows the reputation of the evil power-broker. He knows that this group has signed their death warrants by taking this job. He tries to leave, but there are thick steel plates on the windows and doors have been replaced by locked gates. They have been trapped into a house of horrors — like a Pack of Rats, perhaps?


There is a hideous death of Dean, by the hands of some unknown person. Suddenly, the sharpshooting rifle that Don Rickles was going to use to protect the area is gone. Then, Don Rickles is gone — also attacked and slashed to death by a person unknown. The remaining members of the group try to make some sense of what is going on. What does Abigail know about all of this? They all go together to see her and try to find out.


Abigail is a little bit more than a ballet-loving little unicorns-and-rainbows kid. She is actually a vampire, the adopted daughter of the Big Guy vampire. They own this house, and now Abigail owns these pathetic little rats. Each one of the gang members was set up. Each one had, in some way, done dirty to the Big Guy’s crime syndicate. Each one is about to pounced on by Abigail. After all, she says — “I like to play with my food”.  The kidnap victim is about to become a pirouetting princess poised to provide pain…


It all does not happen all at once. The group does try to get the drop on the kidnap victim turned predator. They get a chance to lock her up into a cage. But she knows everything about every person in the group. Abigail is very cunning, and she attempts to turn each member against one another.


Frank plays along, but only to try and get some info on a hidden way out. Joey finds one place in the house where it is open to sunlight. That should keep the vampires at bay. Peter is strong enough to turn some pool cues into a few wooden stakes. Sammy is hot on trail of garlic — or are those onions?


You don’t want to know what will happen if a person gets bitten. It will not be pretty, and it gets worse if the newly-infected gets killed. There is a sharp level increase of gore and guts that range almost into the comical. There are minor characters who come back, only to make even more reveals.


There are double-crosses layered on top of triple-crosses. There are ballet dancers who multiply, and mansion floors that will need a good bleaching. It is up to Joey to put up a good fight until the end — so that she might become the ‘final girl’.



“Abigail” is crime caper that turns into horror movie. The directors (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett — team up under the name ‘Radio Silence’) know how to craft a crazy movie that luxuriates in its excess. The strong R-rating is earned by the seemingly non-stop flow of blood and gore. Not to mention the premise of kidnapping and holding a child for ransom, using very ‘colorful’ language.


The cast is really well-chosen for this movie, especially Alisha Weir as Abigail. She is able to make the turn from a sweet, innocent child into a blood-thirsty beast faster than an F1 racer into a hairpin turn at the Gran Prix. Melissa Barrera is convincing as a criminal with a heart, and Dan Stevens pounces on his evil no-good-ness. Kathryn Newton is again a stand-out in a side role.


This movie almost has one additional unnamed costar. This movie would not be made without this magnificent performance. That is the dump-truck sized loads of fake blood and oozy-gooey body parts. The gross factor does not go from 1 to 10 on the dial. This sucker dials it way up to past 17. The gore and viscera level climb up way past normal, so that eventually this movie gets to be a very dark comedy.


The ‘criminals confronted by vampires’ has been done before. See “From Dusk till Dawn” for another version of that. But to put the actual crime right out in front (kidnapping), that makes for a clever twist on the idea. Then add into the Agatha Cristie concept of killing off people in a group, one by one, that is another good way to make something fresh.


“Abigail” is a ‘fang’-tastic piece of movie-making that pumps some fresh blood into some well-worn concepts. Make that, as much blood as the opening elevator doors at the Overlook Hotel. Going up?



Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Written by: Stephen Shields, Guy Busick
Starring: Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud, Alisha Weir, Giancarlo Esposito
Cinematography: Aaron Morton
Edited by: Michael Shawver
Music by: Brian Tyler
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release date: April 19, 2024
Length: 109 minutes
MPAA rating: R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, pervasive language and brief drug use
Genre: Horror



tmc.io contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

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