Abigail Takes a Bloody Delightful Bite Out of the Vampire Genre

Image: Universal Pictures

Like Leigh Whannell’s 2020 reimagining of The Invisible Man, Abigail proves that you don’t need a bigger Dark Universe to make damn good horror films as part of Universal’s legacy in the genre. The latest from Radio Silence (Ready or Not, Scream) takes vampire lore to a fun and exciting new level.

Abigail’s premise centers on a band of crooks who get hired to kidnap a very mysterious and important man’s daughter. There’s an excellent gang set-up introducing each member of the crew in a bar scene where Melissa Barrera’s character reads everyone to filth without knowing their real names—it’s very Hitchcockian. But the tables turn when they arrive for their night of “babysitting” and realize Abigail is no ordinary child, she’s a freakin’ ballerina vampire… and her father is none other than Dracula going by another name (it’s not really a spoiler). The ensemble, led by Scream’s Barrera and featuring Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, Kevin Durand, William Catlett, and Angus Cloud, really go through hell at the hands of a kid vampire. These actors know the kind of movie they’re in, and lean into the humor and the horror.

Image for article titled Abigail Takes a Bloody Delightful Bite Out of the Vampire Genre

Image: Universal Pictures

But since every character is a baddie in the best way, you’ll find yourself rooting for both sides. Alisha Weir as Abigial is destined to become a horror icon like M3GAN before her. She is such as badass and serves in every scene she’s in. Between the dancing and the throat slashing we’ve never seen a kid have that much fun being scary-cute on screen. Among the adults, Stevens, Barrera, and Newton stand out—they ground the film but also go for it when things get really wild. This trio are some of the best in working in genre movies today.

Radio Silence—Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett—again deliver an unexpected trip that rips into a refreshing take on horror with their signature dark humor and full-tilt bloody violence. It was great to see the directors reunite with Barrera now that all have departed from the Scream franchise, and hopefully this partnership will continue in the future. Abigail is such a blast and a stone-cold certified good time—it’s definitely cemented a place on the list of this year’s best horror films. Don’t miss it!

Abigail opens tomorrow, April 19.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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