Something to get your teeth into

Mick Ferris
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Abigail (18, 109 minutes)

A rag tag bunch of misfits bite off more than they can chew when hired to kidnap the 12-year old daughter of a notorious crime boss in this cut above gory horror silliness.

All the gang have to do for their share of the $50million ransom is watch over the child for 24 hours while holed up in a large isolated manor house.

But it soon becomes clear that the abduction was the easy part of the operation. This is no ordinary mansion and their hostage is no ordinary pre-teen ballerina.

Filmed entirely without the use of green screen, Abigail is a very messy organs caked on the walls affair with snappy dialogue (“What happened?” “His head fell off!”), along with a much better story along with far more creative camera work and direction than one would usually expect from this sort of pick ’em off one by one buckets of blood and guts fayre.

It’s topped by a truly exceptional performance by 14-year old Alisha Weir in the title role.

The young Irish teenager takes to the extensive wire work involved here like a natural in a role which physically owes much to the dancing killer robot M3GAN, except in this case the creepy kid is a vampire unhindered by the restraints of gravity or mechanics.

But creepy really doesn’t even half cover it as at one point she blithely walks along a high banister seemingly oblivious to the drop and every movement has the grace of a choreographed showpiece with the added menace of sinking her razor sharp teeth into a neck or throat.

Rather than the kidnappers being just unlikeable one dimensional fang fodder, they are, for the most part, (excuse the pun) fleshed out characters and distinct individuals. The two that arren’t are seen off quicker than a Starship Enterprise security detail beaming down to a planet with Kirk, Spock and Bones.

Abigail is a cracking little film well put together with a deftness of touch rarely associated with a genre dominated by flying flesh, disembowelment and decapitation, where every aspect from the well thought out script upwards is above par.

RATING: 8/10


Mick Ferris

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