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Abigail is bloody fun




The Universal Pictures release, "Abigail," reimagines the classic Universal Monsters film, "Dracula's Daughter," under the direction of co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Stephen Shields and Guy Busick penned the screenplay for the film. The plot of the movie revolves around Lambert, portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito, who recruits six individuals to abduct Abigail, the 12-year-old daughter of an influential crime figure, offering a $50 million reward in return.


Lambert, the mastermind behind the kidnapping, instructs the abductors to refrain from exchanging personal information amongst themselves and to adopt aliases inspired by the Rat Pack. The kidnappers include Melissa Barrera, who portrays Joey, a former Army medic with a history of drug abuse; Dan Stevens, who portrays Frank, a retired detective in the NYPD; Kathryn Newton, who plays Sammy, a wealthy hacker; Angus Cloud, who portrays Dean, a sociopathic driver; Will Catlett, who plays Rickles, a Marine sniper; and Kevin Durand, who portrays Peter, a dimwitted Canadian mob enforcer. However, in the isolated mansion where they are holding Abigail, the captors start to dwindle one by one and soon discover that they're locked inside with no ordinary little girl.


"Abgail" adopts a standard approach by initially focusing on the kidnappers' unpreparedness rather than the titular character. The strength of this strategy lies in the characters' lack of redeemable qualities, amplifying how their amateurish execution leads to a series of missteps that unfold in a darkly comedic manner. The cast's collective chemistry, having previously appeared in horror films, notably enhances the narrative and leaves a lasting impression.

The film's main attraction is the titular character's retribution against her captors, delivered with the expected gory content that horror fans crave. The cast delivers the standard acting style one would expect from a film of this type, with Alisha Weir fully committing to the role and relishing the opportunity to play the titular character.

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Abgail" is a film that approaches the story of a kidnapping uniquely, emphasizing the captors' lack of preparation and their bumbling missteps. The solid performances by the cast, particularly Weir's, enhance the narrative and deliver the expected comedic horror experience.

My biggest gripe with the film, though, was its running time. At almost two hours, "Abigail" could have been trimmed down by thirty minutes or so. In addition, the highly talented William Catlett and Giancarlo Esposito needed to be more utilized. Nevertheless, the film has enough action, comedy, and horror to earn a recommendation.


Final Grade: B


"Abigail" is in theaters now.

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