Abigail Review – IGN

Abigail Film Review

Abigail opens in theaters April 19. This review is based on a screening at the Overlook Film Festival.

Hidden beneath the gore and violence of the horror-comedy Abigail lies a tale of redemption. A mother steps up to become the parent she never was, while a daughter finally receives the care and protection she craved at home. These emotional moments shine through in a film filled with thrills, where a motley crew of kidnappers is led by a mother and the daughter is a vampire in a tutu.

With witty one-liners that will tickle even the most stoic funny bone, the latest offering from Scream VI directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett blends the themes of Hotel Transylvania, the elements of a slasher flick, and the essence of a crime thriller. Drawing parallels to their previous film Ready or Not, the movie offers a wilder take on ultraviolence in a cat-and-mouse game set in a luxurious mansion.

Meet the Characters

Abigail introduces viewers to a group of seasoned crooks who come together to carry out a lucrative abduction job. Imagine if the Scooby-Doo gang had dark pasts and only met when embarking on their first mystery. The organic development of their friendships adds depth to their interactions. Assigned code names to maintain anonymity, the crew is led by a suave Giancarlo Esposito.

Our protagonist, Joey (Melissa Barrera), emerges as the most likable kidnapper tasked with looking after Abigail in the opulent mansion where they await the ransom payment. Screenwriters Guy Busick and Stephen Shields expertly play with these archetypes for maximum comedic effect, with the exception of former military man Rickles (William Catlett) whose romantic subplot with Joey takes a back seat.

Character Dynamics

As Joey navigates her way through the group, she uncovers each member’s background – corrupt cop, affluent hacker, getaway driver, and muscle – while sharing her struggles with addiction and motherly remorse. This emotional connection between Joey and Abigail drives the narrative forward.

Barrera delivers a powerful performance, showcasing Joey’s determination in the face of danger. Her previous roles in genre projects add depth to her portrayal, making her a convincing final girl fighting to survive a night with a vampire. The audience is captivated by Barrera’s portrayal, believing in Joey’s resilience and wit.

The Horror-Comedy Blend

Abigail keeps the focus on the chaos within the mansion, with minimal flashbacks and backstory. The revelation of Abigail’s vampire lineage sets the stage for a thrilling hunt where the kidnappers become the prey. Weir’s portrayal of the vampiric Abigail is filled with playful malevolence, adding a layer of tension to the already chaotic situation.

The film’s ability to balance horror with comedy is its main strength, with effective jump scares and gory scenes keeping audiences on edge. While the plot may not be entirely original, the impeccable casting and comedic timing make Abigail a crowd-pleaser that revels in its absurdity.