'Abigail' - Not a Normal Little Girl

"Abigail" via IMDb.

Horror comedy has come a long way since “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” In the 21st century, movies such as “What We Do In the Shadows,” “Get Out,” “Zombieland,” “Ready or Not,” “The Blackening,” and “Freaky” have elevated the genre to new heights.

Then there’s “Abigail” (Universal). First the bad news. Slightly convoluted, and easily 30 minutes too long, with endless fight scenes that make those in the Marvel series seem brief, “Abigail” is not as graceful as a ballerina.

Nevertheless, for the most part, the good outweighs the bad. We’re told the titular Abigail (Alisha Weir) is a 12-year-old girl living near Boston. She is a young ballet dancer, and we see her rehearsing on an empty stage in an empty theater. She rides home from rehearsal to her family’s mansion in a chauffeur-driven Bentley.

Once inside, her life changes dramatically. Six kidnappers have been hired by Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito) to abduct her and take her to an isolated estate where she will be held until her wealthy father Kristof (Matthew Goode) pays the $50,000,000 ransom. With their hostage in hand, the kidnappers arrive at their destination and are given new Rat Pack-themed names by Lambert: Frank (Dan Stevens), Joey (Melissa Barrera), Sammy (Kathryn Newton), Peter (Kevin Durand), Rickles (William Catlett), and Dean (the late Angus Cloud). They are also given instructions which they must follow closely.

There’s more to Abigail than meets the eye, as the ragtag gang is about to learn. The little girl is actually a ravenous vampire, and while each of the kidnappers brings a special skill to the situation, one by one they discover that they are no match for her.

There is also more to these lowlifes than we see on the surface. Each of them has a complicated history from earlier in their lives. For example, Frank was a crooked detective. Joey was a medic whose drug addiction cost her a career as well as guardianship of her son, and so on.

What distinguishes them all, and the reason for their presence, is that each one has a negative history with Abigail’s father Kristof. The kidnappers all believe that he is a powerful underworld gang lord, but his affiliation is with a different kind of underworld than the one with which they are familiar.

The revelation of Abigail’s supernatural identity and her desire to feed leads to a mounting body count. She also has the ability to “turn” some of the kidnappers, thereby increasing the size of her personal army.

Full of blood, gore, and a fair share of laughs, “Abigail,” like the character of carnage survivor Joey, does tend to overstay its welcome. But it certainly could have been worse. 

Rating: C+


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