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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: July 9th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Abigail (2024)

Overview -

Blu-ray Review By: Bryan Kluger
Abigail
is a beautiful ballet of blood-soaked carnage, body explosions, and witty banter, all at the hands of a little vampire. It all works perfectly in this new film from the group Radio Silence. The 1080p HD transfer looks very good and the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track sounds wonderful. The bonus features are fun to watch. Even though an impending 4K release would be the way to go, this movie is too damn fun to wait on. This is Highly Recommended! 
 

 

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
110
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
Deleted & Extended Scenes, Gag Reel, Blood Bath, Hunters to Hunted, Becoming a Ballerina Vampire, Directing Duo Matt & Tyler, Feature Commentary with Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett and Editor Michael P. Shawyer
Release Date:
July 9th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

If only the marketing and promos for Abigail were more subtle, the shocking surprises would have played out so much better throughout the movie. Still, this horror-comedy from the filmmaking group Radio Silence is a delightful treat for any genre fan. Abigail is two movies rolled into one that plays out like the cult-favorite From Dusk Til Dawn. The first segment of the film follows a group of criminals kidnapping a young girl for a ransom leads into a blood-soaked horror tale of vampires and gruesome deaths with witty dialogue that culminates into one of the best sequences of combustion ever put on film. It's just sad that the trailers for the movie showed these elements instead of allowing people to discover them for themselves. It still doesn't remove the fact that Abigail is a highly entertaining horror movie.

Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Guy Busick) had already proved themselves inside the horror world with their famous segment from the first V/H/S movie titled 10/31/98 which led them to make the best Hide-And-Seek movie called Ready or Not. After those successes, they re-ignited the Scream franchise with the last two Scream films. It's obvious that Radio Silence can handle the balance of comedy and horror while showcasing tons of gore and a cavalcade of actors who deliver witty banter between each other. All of these aspects come to the spotlight in Abigail where these criminals for hire have to team up and kidnap a young girl and keep her overnight until the money comes in. It sounds like a simple task, however, the criminals get more than what they bargained for when the kidnapped girl, Abigail, turns out to be a vicious monster who uses her location to trap each criminal into a gory death where she can feast on blood.

Watching these characters play off each other as they try to dissect their flaws has spot-on timing and hilarious comedic delivery as Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, Will Catlett, Kevin Durand, and Angus Cloud navigate their house of horrors together while yelling, screaming, and turning on each other. The cast of characters each has their own trait that sticks out which comes into play when a bloodthirsty vampire is after them which is where Radio Silence always nails the nuanced character elements in each of their films. Kevin Durand is definitely the muscle of the group, however, his strength is sometimes used against him in the funniest ways. This is the flow of how the narrative plays out which is why everyone gets a therapy diagnosis at the beginning of the movie that results in how each of them acts when terror is around every corner. It's a perfect recipe for comedy in such a chaotic universe.

But like the film From Dusk Til Dawn, the latter half of the movie is all horror with buckets of blood pouring more and more by the second as the film plays out. Dan Stevens still manages to be the best thing in movies at the moment. His ability to turn it up to 11 in each role shows just how much he immerses himself into his character, especially in Abigail where he plays both sides of the coin up until the very end. The climax of Abigail can get a little convoluted with too many twists and betrayals, but it's really the journey that counts and the possibility of a big franchise of movies that this sets up. Abigail is one of those high-octane thrill rides that is no doubt going to leave everyone who watches it with big smiles and wanting more of Abigail. This is horror at its finest and teaches everyone one lesson - "Never trust a bitch in Golden Goose sneakers."

 

Vital Stats: The Blu-ray
Abigail bites its way to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Universal. The two discs are housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. There is an insert for the digital code. The artwork features the titular character in a ballerina dress looking up with blood all over it. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Abigail arrives with a 1080p HD transfer that looks great. The movie was shot in 4K, however, no 4K release is available at the moment. This has been downgraded to fit onto Blu-ray which can only mean a bigger 4K version will be released at some point in the future. Hopefully!  

The color palette through most of the film is very warm with minor scenes that have cooler colors. Most of the film has great amber lighting throughout the mansion with tons of yellows, oranges, reds, mahogany browns, and fire-like lighting. In certain basement rooms, moldy blues and greens show up nicely. The blue and green highlights in Kathryn's hair pop with vigor. But the main color that dazzles is red. The amount of blood really showcases the use of that color where it has varying shades of lighter and darker reds. Black levels are inky enough in the dark corridors of the large house. If Dolby Vision was enabled here, there would be many instances of nuanced reds and amber lighting that could make the picture look even better. 

The detail is sharp and vivid with good closeups that reveal facial pores, individual hairs, facial stubble, and amazing practical effects. The muscles, bones, guts, intestines, and droplets of blood look amazingly gooey and gory in each scene. Wider shots of the house also reveal the wood textures of furniture and walls. Skin tones are warmer than normal, however, that is a stylistic choice. There are no major instances of aliasing, banding, or heavy noise. But a 4K picture would certainly make this movie look even better than it does here. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track that sounds wonderful. Again, a Dolby Atmos track would be preferred but it might be saved for a future 4K release. (again hopefully!) The sound effects are loud and effective. Gunshots, blunt objects hitting flesh, and old wooden houses all make for some amazing sounds. Teeth ripping into skin and muscle make those gruesome noises as well. Bodies flying through walls and falling down staircases have a great amount of debris effects that flow through all of the speakers. Each fight and punch, along with every gunshot and chomp of teeth comes with a wonderful low-end of bass that brings a fantastic rumble without crossing into rocky territory. The score kicks in at every moment with tons of suspense and crescendos that add to the horror of each situation. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along, especially when everyone is yelling at each other. A Dolby Atmos track would only allow for all of the height sounds to breathe and flow a little better. Still, this is a great-sounding audio mix. 

 

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 41 minutes of extras in this set, most of which are EPK material split into different modes of production. The interviews are engaging and energetic enough, but the best featurette here is all about the practical blood and guts. The audio commentary track is too dry to be engaging. 

  • Audio Commentary - Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett along with Editor Michael P. Shawver come together to talk about making the movie. It's rather dry, however, the trio delivers some decent information on how they made the movie. 
  • Directing Duo (HD, 6 Mins.) - A quick EPK with cast and crew interviews and on-set footage that focuses on changing the vampire genre and working with the directors. 
  • Becoming a Ballerina Vampire (HD, 5 Mins.) - Another EPK that focuses on the Abigail character and the girl who played her with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The choreography, makeup, and visuals are all talked about. 
  • Hunters To Hunted (HD, 6 Mins.) - A collection of interviews about the characters, their different traits, and the casting are explored in this EPK.
  • Blood Bath (HD, 7 Mins.) - The best extra on the disc focuses on all of the practical blood effects and the use of CGI that was used. 
  • Gag Reel (HD, 10 Mins.) - A super long, mediocre collection of flubs and missed cues. This could have been cut down a lot. 
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7 Mins.) - There are three extended scenes where the last one adds some great bits to the final few minutes of the movie. 

Final Thoughts

Abigail is a wonderful addition to the horror genre. It allows its characters to have a bit of fun riffing off each other while trying to escape buckets of blood and a vampire who loves ballet. The 1080p HD video looks great and the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track sounds wonderful. The bonus features are fun to watch. The question is, does everyone hold out for a 4K release? The answer is, YES. But for those who must have this amazing movie and its extras, this is Highly Recommended!