"Abigail" Film Review

Abigail | Rotten Tomatoes


Rating: 4/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    It's no secret I love campy horror films, especially slashers that don't take itself too seriously and promise a fun time at the movies. Abigail is definitely one of those movies, and you can tell from the trailers that this is going to be a great time. The newest film from Radio Silence, which garnered fame after making movies like the two new Scream installments, V/H/S, and Ready or Not, cements this directing duo as one of the leading voices in horror, demonstrating how they know how to make a near-perfect campy slasher for this day and age. 

    The film revolves around a group of semi-professional criminals - Joey (Melissa Barrera), Sammy (Kathryn Newton), Frank (Dan Stevens), Rickles (Will Catlett), Peter (Kevin Durand), and Dean (the late Angus Cloud, who gives his final performance here) - who are hired by a man who calls himself Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito) to kidnap the daughter of a very powerful man.That daughter is named Abigail (Alisha Weir), who is a ballerina that seemingly lives her life by herself as her father can't be bothered to spend time with her. 

    They think the whole operation will go over smoothly, with the dad paying the ransom and they all go home a couple million dollars richer. But, when the members of their crew start dying off one by one in very gruesome ways, they discover that this innocent little girl isn't as innocent or young as she is portraying herself as. The crew of criminals must now find a way to get out of the locked mansion as this little vampire starts hunting her prey down, toying and playing with them as she does just for her own enjoyment. 

    The film relies on an ensemble cast to succeed, and they do so perfectly. Every single character here is enjoyable to watch and the viewer can find something they love about each of them. It's refreshing to see Barrera play this sort of hard-ass character, who also has a heart and is wrestling with her conflicting emotions about the crime she is taking place in. At the same time, we get her foil in Stevens' character Frank, who is simply just despicable and only cares about himself and what he gets out of all of it. Each character here is so different and unique from one another that they are incredibly likable and it's easy to feel sad when one of your favorites gets brutally slaughtered. I use slaughtered here because this little girl is going farther than just murdering them.

    No, Abigail loves to play with her food and it's all simply a game for her. She takes joy in watching the blood splatter, and there is definitely an abundance of blood and gore here. Whether it's our main characters being slashed right and left or some hidden vampires being blown up in an incredibly gory and gruesome fashion, Radio Silence loves to really play in this field of campy horror and go above and beyond on the screen. Consider how gory Ready or Not is, and how extremely funny it is as well at times. That is what you're getting when you watch this film, and it's so much fun from beginning to end. 

    Weir, who I was first exposed to when I watched the musical telling of Roald Dahl's Matilda in 2022, is so damn good here. She takes a page out of the Matilda book by being a normal child, who is innocent and lovable, in the first part of this film, but it feels like a light switched and she's an incredibly different actress. I loved watching her as this killing machine, and I think she honestly does it to perfection. At only 14 years old, Weir is proving she is a fantastic rising star, and she honestly has a very bright future ahead of her. I seriously hope she does many horror movies after this one because she is perfect for them. 

    Sure, this movie does go on for a bit too long and the story is convoluted and messy at times, especially the beginning when they try to introduce all of the characters and you have to keep track of who does what and what happened to who. They all have unique personality characteristics, but it is hard to keep track of their messy backstories at times. I also feel like the movie could have benefited by perhaps having less characters as I think they could have added more character development to some of those that didn't get it. 

    I will always love slasher and campy horror films like this, no matter what. Thankfully for this film and for those who want to see it, this is not only an incredibly enjoyable slasher, but it is simply a great movie. It does camp and the slasher genre to near-perfection, and it shows how Radio Silence definitely knows what they are doing in this genre. I highly implore you to check out this film, even if you are not a horror fan, as it is genuinely a great time and will win you over in the end.