Vampire Horror Abigail Is ‘Very R-Rated’, Says Tyler Gillett: ‘We Want The Blood To Stick To You’


by Ben Travis |
Published on

If you know one thing going into Abigail, know this: there will be blood. The new film from Scream and Scream 6 directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett is a vampire-ballerina schlock-fest – and just because its central bloodsucker appears in the form of a young girl (Alisha Weir, outstanding in Matilda The Musical), don’t be fooled into thinking this is sleepover-friendly gateway horror. According to the directors, the film – in which a bunch of criminals get way more than they bargained for when they realise the kid they’ve ’napped is an undead monster – does not hold back.

Unlike the relatively all-ages frights and gags of, say, M3GAN, Abigail is going to be drenched in gore and grue. “We’re huge M3GAN fans,” Gillett tells Empire, “and Abigail has that same fun, campy [tone] – but it’s also very R-rated. It’s not afraid to go places you’re maybe not sure you want to go.” The film, he says, is partly about stripping away “the romantic notion” of vampires, delivering something more vicious. “We talked about the teeth a lot,” he says. “We wanted them to look more primal and animal than usual vampire fangs. Abigail’s are a kind of teeth on top of teeth – like a shark’s mouth. Those apex predators, when they open their mouth you see they’re designed to inflict as much damage as possible.”

The odds don’t look good for the criminal team, played by the likes of Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton and Kevin Durand – with the results set to paint the screen red. “Our thing with blood is: it always has to feel viscous,” says Gillett. “The minute it feels thin, it’s not interesting. We want it to stick to you.” Maybe bring a poncho, just to be on the safe side.

Empire – May 2024 – Furiosa newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full Abigail feature – speaking to Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, writers Stephen Shields and Guy Busick, plus stars Alisha Weir, Melissa Barrera and Dan Stevens – in the Furiosa issue, on sale Thursday 14 March. Order a copy online here. Abigail comes to UK cinemas on 19 April.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us