Ballerina vampire movie set to shock and awe audiences

ABIGAIL, a horror cum comedy movie featuring a preteen vampire, will take you on a thrilling ride with twists and turns. For the most part, the movie lives up to its promise of horror, although towards the end, it starts to seem a little familiar.

If you are a fan of the True Blood television series and Twilight movies, chances are you will enjoy Abigail.

A terrifying little girl, vampires, floating corpses, a bloody body explosion (which reminds us of True Blood) and a handsome star Dan Stevens are thrown into the movie – all the ingredients necessary for a vampire flick.

In the opening scene, a lovely little 12-year-old performs a ballet dance in an empty hall, accompanied by music that will haunt you later.

Unbeknownst to the girl, a group of six has plans to kidnap her to demand a ransom of US$50 million from her multimillionaire father. However, none of them are aware of the identity of the child or that of her father, except the mastermind.

When the unconscious Abigail awakes in a locked room in the dark, in a decades-old Gothic-style mansion, Joey (played by Melissa Barrera) comforts the scared little child and assures her that no one will harm her. But Abigail instead apologises to Joey for what is about to happen. This kind of alerts viewers that something is really wrong with Abigail.

Turning the tables

One of the kidnappers (played by the late Angus Cloud) is subsequently brutally attacked, and his head is decapitated gruesomely.

Later, Frank (played by Stevens) learns that Abigail’s father’s Lazarus Kristoff is a powerful underworld figure with an empire and has a violent right-hand man Valdez, who had brutally killed witnesses in a case against Kristoff.

Frank decides to leave but is persuaded to stay for his share of the ransom money. Unfortunately, one by one, they get killed. Frank realises Abigail is manipulating Joey to turn against him and leads his team to confront her, but Abigail shocks everyone.

This is where the story starts to get interesting. The so-called victim is actually a frightening vampire who turns the tables on her kidnappers and makes them her prey.

Victim or vampire?

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the “ballerina” vampire Abigail is actually the one who planned her own kidnapping and selected the team members, all of whom are her father’s enemies (and criminals), so she could play a twisted game and enjoy killing them one by one.

It turns out the vampire has killed many others just for fun over centuries and left their bodies floating in the house.

Overall, the story seems very exciting, scary and funny in the first half. But towards the end, it seems to lose the “scare factor” and the body explosion scenes felt a bit familiar. Plus, the ending is quite predictable as everyone gets killed... except for one, as always.

Alisha Weir’s portrayal of Abigail, who transforms from a sweet, innocent child to a bloodthirsty vampire with a twisted mind and menacing expression, is the best thing about the movie.

She is terrifying and could likely scare the hell out of grown men with her fang-baring scowl. In one of the best scenes in the movie, Abigail creepily dances ballet and twirls in a blood-soaked Tutu skirt while chasing her victims.

Although Barrera looked promising at the beginning playing Joey as a compassionate, smart and vulnerable woman, her role does not really capture hearts as the last-standing heroine.

Towards the end, it is Stevens who steals the limelight with a more interesting and complex role. His character Frank is a detective with mysterious past, who makes the audience wonder throughout the movie if he is a victim or villain. Sad to say, the late Cloud, who died of a drug overdose last year, only had a small but memorable role.

A “real” vampire

In the final scene, Matthew Goode makes a cameo appearance. His screen presence and deep voice makes a significant impact, creates excitement and makes the audience wonder if a sequel is in the works.

Just one scene from Goode was good enough to exude power and awe.

For those who are not aware, the British actor is well-known for playing a vampire in the television series A Discovery of Witches. The movie is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Opin and Tyler Giller, the same people behind the movie Ready or Not, Scream and Scream VI.

Despite some flaws, excessive blood and gory parts, the movie is entertaining and has a thrill factor for fans of horror movies and lighthearted banter between a group of eccentric characters.

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Opin and Tyler Giller

Cast: Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Alisha Weir, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud and Giancario Esposito