Figure 1 – Abigail poster

First, a warning: SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t seen Abigail, and spoilers bother you, skip this until you have. Because it’s impossible to review this movie without giving away the McGuffin. Fair enough? (This movie has a 6.7 (out of 10) rating on IMDB; I’d give it a bit better than a 7.)




Okay, you’ve been warned. Probably someone cleverer than I will be able to review this movie without giving away the the McGuffin, but I’m not that guy. The film purports to be a “kidnap caper” type of movie at the start; a disparate crew of criminals is hired to kidnap the 12-year-old daughter of a billionaire, maybe a tech genius, or major mob figure, and hold her until $50 million ransom is paid. (Even a billionaire might grinch at that sum; who can raise that much cash within 24 hours? That would have made me suspicious immediately.)

Anyway, this crew, comprising the boss, a hacker, the muscle, a sniper, a driver and a medic, is hired by a guy named Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito) to do the job. They only have to hold the kid for 24 hours and each one will receive $7 million for their part in the job; me, I’d be suspicious right off the bat that a guy I didn’t know would offer that much dough for a quick and simple job. But again, maybe that’s just me—I am sometimes overly suspicious. Lambert doesn’t want any real names used, or real “specialties” given—or any personal info, for that matter—so he gives them all “Rat Pack” nicknames: we have Joey, Frank, Rickles, Sammy, Peter and Dean.

The crew doesn’t know the identity of the girl’s (Abigail, played by 14-year-old Alisha Weir) father, but speculate that he is a mob boss; she is to be injected with a sedative at the time she is taken and transported to a place only Lambert knows and held for 24 hours; she’s to be blindfolded and never see or hear anyone other than “Joey,” the medic of the crew. The kidnap comes off without a hitch; Abigail is dancing a solo Swan Lake in a theatre with no audience, and the crew follows her and her driver to her house and takes her quickly and easily. “Sammy,” the hacker, jiggers the security and, after Abigail is sedated, they end up in a secluded mansion who knows where, behind a locked security gate. Lambert meets them there and gives them their orders; he says to keep their doors locked and he’ll see them in the morning.

Figure 2 – Abigail Crew (from left) Dean, Sammy, Peter (with Abigail), Frank in back, Joey and Rickles

The crew is in the “games” room (there’s a pool table and a bar), drinking, and Dean, the driver (Angus Cloud), says he can tell who everyone is in real life, because he’s perceptive (actually, despide him saying he’s “the best wheelman in town” he’s a dumb punk); he proceeds to say the wrong thing about everyone and Joey (Melissa Barrera) says he’s 100% wrong and tells Frank (Dan Stevens) he’s an ex-cop, a detective; Sammy (Kathryn Newton) is a rich girl turned criminal hacker for kicks; Rickles, the sniper/lookout (William Catlett), is an ex-Marine; and Peter (Kevin Durand), is the muscle. Frank says Joey is a junkie, obviously hitting a nerve. Joey goes to check on Abigail; she takes pity on the girl and removes the too-tight blindfold, also re-handcuffing her hands in front. Abigail says she is sorry to Joey, “for what’s going to happen to you.”

Shortly after they all split up (going to explore the mansion, except Rickles, who’s taking up a lookout post in a high room with a window), Sammy finds Dean dead in the kitchen; his head has been cut or torn off his body. The “fun” has begun. Barriers cover all the doors and windows, and the crew is stuck inside the house, willy-nilly. (Obviously they never heard the “rules of scary movies,” which state among others that you don’t split up to explore an old spooky mansion!)

Figure 3 – Abigail chained to bed

I don’t want to tell the whole movie, just so you’ll have something to watch, so I’ll just say here that Abigail is the problem; she’s a “centuries-old” vampire. Without telling you in great detail what happens to the rest of the crew—or even if someone survives—I can tell you that 14-year-old Alisha Weir does a splendid job of appearing both a scared twelve-year-old kidnapped child and a very old, very nasty apex predator of humankind. Abigail claims to have been doing this (dancing Swan Lake?) for a very long time, but it only makes me wonder—something that was brought up in the movies Near Dark and Interview With the Vampire—how incredibly boring it would be to be a prepubescent vampire who’ll never get older. The writers (Stephen Shields and Guy Busick) even came up with what is a more-or-less new twist on being bitten by a vampire. Maybe not exactly new, but somewhat different. At one point, after they figure out what’s going on and are trying to protect themselves, the crew starts asking what kind of vampire are they dealing with, a Nosferatu type or a Twilight type, adding a touch of levity into what should be a very tense scene. So they arm themselves with crosses, pool cues cut into stakes, and so on.

Anyway, the movie comes off to a proper climax, leaving some protagonists alive and some dead, as usual. Since I spoiled the surprise—hey, if you’ve seen the trailer, you already knew it—I thought I’d let the rest of the movie  play out for you. I kind of enjoyed it, and it was nice to see Gus Fring (Esposito) in a different kind of role. (We were great fans of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.)

If you have any comments you can comment here or on Facebook, or even by email (stevefah at hotmail dot com). All comments, pro or con, are welcome. But don’t call me names, okay? My opinion is, as always, my own, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Amazing Stories or its owner, editor, publisher or other columnists. See you next time!

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