Sure, the story of Dracula’s Daughter might not be actually original to “remake” (and this doesn’t actually remake that movie). But, when you’re watching Abigail, it doesn’t feel like any other horror story out there, from the look of it to the laughs to the actual subject matter. Then again, at the same time, it feels like something familiar, like a movie from the ’80s that you missed out on. There are pieces of plenty of other stories here, some Fright Night, some of Radio Silence’s own Ready or Not, and lots of dark humor throughout. Abigail is the rare horror movie that has its tentacles in so many other movies but still feels fresh and original.

Abigail starts off as innocuous as a movie about kidnapping a little girl and trying to use her to get ransom money does. We’re introduced to the team, who all have code names because you never give your name when you’re committing any sort of crime. Don’t make it personal. The team behind the operation consists of Joey (Melissa Barrera), Frank (Dan Stevens), Rickles (William Catlett), Sammy (Kathryn Newton), Peter (Kevin Durand), Dean (the late Angus Cloud), and the ringleader Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito). They’re tasked with kidnapping Abigail (Alisha Weir) who is the daughter of a very rich man. That all goes out the window when they find out that Abigail is actually a vampire.

A ballerina vampire.

A Mansion In Darkness

If you’ve seen any of Radio Silence’s (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) previous work on either Scream or Ready Or Not, they have a certain style to their movies. They’re heavy on dark humor, but still know how to scare and ratchet up the tension. Abigail is no different, with several exceptionally frightening scenes. As the movie goes on, it goes from that terrifying horror to a more action-oriented gore fest, but never loses the tone. It’s got dark humor peppered throughout.

The real show-stealers in this movie are Alisha Weir as Abigail and Kevin Durand as Peter. This movie would not have worked without Weir as Abigail. She brings energy and gravitas to this role, which is fitting for the best movie vampires out there. There’s always something depressing about a vampire: they have to live their life at whatever age they’re at forever. When you combine that with the fact that she’s stuck as a 12-year-old girl forever, it makes for a subject matter that’s quite depressing. Weir brings this out in her performance between absolutely savaging people. It doesn’t quite make her verge into “too sympathetic” territory, but it’s something that’s underlying.

Durand gets some of the funniest moments in the film and his deadpan delivery of some of the lines makes for the most hilarious moments. Of all the stand-and-clap-worthy moments in the film, he gets at least two of them. Outside of those two performances, the rest of the cast is excellent. Barrera is feisty and strong, but still adds a vulnerability to the proceedings. While Dan Stevens as Frank is about as big of an as*hole as you can get, he still remains charming as all hell. Kathryn Newton’s Sammy is relatable. She also gets some of the worst treatment in the film, falling into a swimming pool of dead bodies, and other gross-out punishments.

The cast of Abigail feels like one of those movies where you’ll sit down five years from now and ask yourself “how did they get all of these people in this movie?” They have excellent chemistry with one another, especially the sort of “anti-chemistry” that Angus Cloud and Kathryn Newton have in their comedic timing. Newton is charged with leading a couple of the biggest scenes in the movie, including a synchronized dance number that’ll make your jaw drop.

Welcome Home, Abigail

Through it all, even with a third act that takes plenty of twists and turns, Abigail rises up to take the mantle of some of the most fun you’ll have watching a horror movie. There’s a feeling of jubilation watching the movie that rises up, builds, and explodes in a bloody, guts-filled, mess that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. In a time where movies have to be so serious, we get a movie like this that just lets you kick back, and watch a bunch of kidnappers try to deal with a vampire ballerina.

Those who want to complain about unoriginal movies can point to this one being a shining beacon of originality, even when it’s borrowing a couple of things from past movies in the Universal catalog. Abigail is a new horror classic.

Abigail releases in theaters on April 19th.

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