Abigail

Tagline : Children can be such monsters.

Runtime : 109 mins

Genre : Horror Thriller Comedy

Vote Rating : 6.9/10


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Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : After a group of would-be criminals kidnap the 12 year old ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure, all they have to do to collect a $50 million ransom is watch the girl overnight. In an isolated mansion, the captors start to dwindle, one by one, and they discover, to their mounting horror, that they’re locked inside with no normal little girl.

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Reviews

I don't know that I've heard Tchaikovsky ever used so menacingly before, but here his "Swan Lake" and some deadly pas seul are used to good effect! A group of kidnappers has been assembled by "Lambert" (Giancarlo Esposito) to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy man. They are to whisk her away to a remote, quite spooky, manor house where she is to be held hostage til dad stumps up $50m. Thing is, this butter-wouldn't-melt little girl has a secret even bigger than most of the rather disparate gang of folks who used their complementary skills to snatch her. These folks are led by "Frank" (Dan Stevens) and it's "Joey" (Melissa Barrera) who is left to keep an eye on the young "Abigail" (Alisha Weir). Quite quickly we realise that it's not her who is trapped in their web, but vice-versa and what now ensues sees quite a fun series of daft and gruesome encounters as their gang gradually dwindles and they have to fight for their lives! It runs out of steam a bit towards the ending - which seems to happen quite a few times, but a solid cast including the entertaining Kevin Durand and Kathryn Newton, some quickly paced direction and some pithy writing keeps most of this moving along with the diverse range of characters (and intellects) making for quite an enjoyable romp in a sort of "Cluedo" with loads of ketchup style. Who knew red onions were so versatile?

Abigail isn't exactly a novel idea but its executed convincingly enough to offer up a moderately watchable, horror, experience. In spite of its grounding in vampiric horror, I didn't find Abigail especially frightening. There's no sense of creeping menace and frankly, that's a shame. It does "have a go", so to speak, at first but never really takes it far enough or handles the material subtly enough, to pull it off. Instead, Abigail is more in line with you standard vampire fare, where for the majority of the film you know who and what, you are dealing with. This tends to move the narrative and exposition, more towards a bloody action framework. This film is not unwatchable, don't get me wrong. The acting is decent, the setting appropriately creepy and the horror sequences are polished. That said, I did find myself feeling like I'd seen it all before, in one sense or another.The ending fizzes when it could have "popped", too. In summary, Abigail's handling feels like a missed opportunity to do something far more terrifying and creepily menacing, than what we get with the actual final product. Not bad but nothing special.

Boy did this one catch me by surprise! I absolutely loved watching 'Abigail'! An unexpected gem! I knew nothing pre-watch aside from that it was classed, on Wikipedia at least, as horror, so was simply expecting the usual fare à la 'Imaginary' and/or 'Immaculate' (former bad, latter good fwiw). Clearly, what I in fact saw knocked my socks off! I had a tremendous amount of fun with every second of this, it's unsettling as it is amusing... every department did a grand job! Not even sure where to start with my list of many positives. Alisha Weir is the star of the whole thing, what an utterly brilliant performance from the youngster - so damn convincing, particularly early on. Melissa Barrera is also outstanding, I previously found her fairly forgettable in 'Scream' but here I undeniably liked watching her act. Dan Stevens (another I've found 'meh' elsewhere) impresses as well, as does Kathryn Newton. Heck, everyone onscreen is great. I love how they showed the bloody (and the blood in general) body implosions, great use of (I assume) practical and special effects - proper thrilled me each time. I was happy to see the film get straight into the plot too, no messing about. It does a good job after that opening portion in setting up the characters before the mess truly hits the fan, which is when the movie seriously clicks into gear. Everything from that point on was an absolute blast - quite literally, eh?! Going back to that opening few scenes, I was actually a touch concerned when it went from the initial fun escape to a one-location dynamic; I thought that was going to slow it down and make it more in keeping with the vibes of those two earlier 2024 movies that I noted at the top of my review. However, each moment in that one location is fantastic to watch, I have zero complaints. It's all paced to perfection! Almost stunned at how much I enjoyed this, probably because I wasn't expecting anything from it. Looking at my ratings I've just now realised that I weirdly haven't got a favourite horror movie. According to the Letterboxd sort, I haven't even rated any films from this genre at anything above 9/10 - and even with that score it's only nine flicks, none of which I strongly adore. An unnoticed blind spot in my taste is evidently no longer. The reviews for this seem generally favourable (at worst), which is nice to see. I've seen many online in agreement with me, what a ride! Not that it needs stating, but I'd highly recommend you check this one out!

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