Aki vs. Evil – The Disappointment that Is Abigail

It wasn’t admittedly that much of a disappointment, but simply because the premise wasn’t very promising.

Spooooiiiileeerrrsssss!!! Nothing major actually.

So, why did I go and pay to watch it? Because I liked Ready or Not so much that I wanted to see whether the directors could manage something similar again. I do also like Kathryn Newton in Freaky, another great horror comedy. There is definitely pedigree here. Sometimes pedigree just doesn’t mean anything.

The movie is about a group of criminals hired to kidnap a kid and stay with her for a day before the ransom has been received. It just turns out that the kid is a vampire (this much we learn from the trailer) and the tables turn quickly when the criminals find themselves locked in the building.

The first problem is that since the main villain is a kid, you know the studio won’t let them do anything too upsetting with the premise. In general we don’t like to see kids getting hurt. Even if the kid is hundreds of years old and has weirdly deformed teeth. Because of this there is another twist, but that twist didn’t really feel earned or interesting.

After Ready or Not, I was also looking for some kind of a message. Of course, every movie has a message, whether intentional or not, and whether clear or not. Here it gets very muddled. These are criminals being killed, so are we supposed to see that as justified, because at the same time we are supposed to root for them I guess? At least that’s the way the movie is being presented. At the same time, the titular Abigail isn’t better, but the movie doesn’t really know what to do with her.

I kind of like the premise. A little ballerina using her very well-developed understanding of her own body to murder people, but mostly she just screams at people and rips them apart. There is no elegance there. They try to force this into the movie a bit, but it just doesn’t work. They let go of the conceit way too easily.

Also, we are being presented with artifacts from Abigail’s past in the house, but they never come into play. There is a statue of Abigail and her father, but it isn’t even addressed within the movie except that they make sure that we, as the audience, notice it. That’s just clumsy. Checkov’s Gun anyone? If you present something like that, it has to be important later on. That isn’t even the only thing that should have been consequential. For example, early on it is established that their driver is not a professional criminal in the same way as the others. Why didn’t anyone see that as a sign that something is not right. Why would their employer risk the job like that?

I kind of like our hero, but she too is kind of badly written flawed character, because the extent of her struggling with those flaws is that she keeps eating candy. Sure, that is bad for your health, but doesn’t really work. THey didn’t use the aspect of her leaving her son and her guilt about that plus maternal instincts, when the antagonist is a kid.

The whole movie is just a bunch of missed opportunities.

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