Abigail and Joey doing a picky promise in abigail

‘Abigail’ Review: This Ballerina Vampire Has the Perfect Bite

5/5 bloody sashays

A horror movie that shocks you is hard to come by anymore. But here comes Abigail. The new film from Radio Silence (directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and producer Chad Villella) takes us into the vampire Abigail’s den, and you’re left wondering if you’ll survive the night.

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With the feel of a ’90s horror movie (think The Haunting), what makes Abigail so fresh is that it earns every single twist presented to us. We’re taken into a world where there are whispers about vampires existing, or at least tales of people being ripped apart like an animal attacked them in high rise buildings. But that is just the beginning of Abigail’s (Alisha Weir) story.

The use of ballet through Abigail feels like the “girlhood” that is constantly preached about online. Watching as a young girl comes out to dance to swan lake with pointe shoes takes me back to a very specific memory of doing ballet as a child, and oddly enough, if I watched the vampire teenager leaping and doing a pirouette before the kill while I was in ballet, I probably would have been as obsessed as I am now with the movie.

Abigail is kidnapped by a group of professionals who end up using code names that are just the members of the Rat Pack to keep their identities hidden. Frank (Dan Stevens) is the ring leader, Sammy (Katherine Newton) is a young hacker, Rickles (William Catlett) is the military man, Peter (Kevin Durand) is the muscle, Dean (Angus Cloud) is the driver, and Joey (Melissa Barrera) is a mother trying to fix her life.

What we end up getting with them all is a ragtag team of people trying to survive a night with Abigail as the tables turn, and the way that Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have set up their jump scares makes everything that much more delicious.

Be afraid of the dark

Abigail covered in blood and dancing in the movie abigail
(Universal Pictures)

I am someone who looks at a dark hallway and instantly says, “No.” Abigail includes a series of characters who seem to not care that they are in a very dark house and don’t know what lurks in the shadows. That is where the jump scares really live, and using the collective fear of the dark to the film’s advantage helps to amp up the horror elements of Abigail, but it is also one of the more comedic horror films I’ve seen.

Durand’s Peter is so earnestly confused throughout this entire movie that you can’t help but love him. It takes him a good chunk of the movie to get the simplest of jokes, and when he does finally get it, you can’t help but laugh. Stevens’ Frank is an ex cop with an accent from Queens who is not afraid to say exactly what is on his mind and, in a horror movie, that can wind up hilarious.

There is, quite literally, a million good things I can say about this movie, and still, it wouldn’t be enough. It’s Abigail’s world and we’re just all living in it now, and honestly? We’ll all be better for it once everyone sees Abigail on April 19.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.