The stars of Abigail reveal the intensity of the filming for the upcoming horror movie. Abigail is a horror film about a group of criminals who kidnap the daughter of a prominent figure from the underworld, thinking that she is an innocent ballerina. The group soon discovers, only after arriving with the titular Abigail at an isolated mansion, that this girl is not nearly as sweet as they thought. Abigail features a leading cast including Alisha Weir, Kathryn Newton, Kevin Durand, Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Giancarlo Esposito, and the late Angus Cloud.



During Screen Rant’s set visit to Abigail, a number of the team members have provided details as to the amount of fake blood used on set and more. Actress Newton described shooting Abigail as “the most like traumatic experiences” that she has ever had in terms of how gross and physically difficult the set was. Director Tyler Gillett described the film as “just a bloodbath,” and Stevens echoed that “it was definitely the bloodiest thing [he’s] ever worked on in terms of volume.” Check out the full quotes from the team below:

Kathryn Newton: Oh my gosh, the most like traumatic experiences I’ve ever had, in the best coolest way, like grossest most difficult physically. Like, I just did a Marvel movie. And this is way harder, way, way harder. Like physically, I had to do something where I jumped into a pool of bodies.

So that was the best scene I’ve ever shot 100% most iconic scene I’ve ever done in my career, probably, I hope, you know, that’s the goal. Like when you do something scary like that, you just want it to be so frightening that it stays with the audience.

Co-director Tyler Gillett: It definitely wasn’t accidental, I think that we always want to challenge ourselves and kind of find new ways to shock and entertain ourselves. I’m going to sort of pare it back to like, just who our monster is it. Because you have this like 13 year-old vampire at the at the heart of this movie, it felt to us just meant that we could go harder and more extreme and have more fun with with the gore and the violence because you have her, you know, as as a young girl, as the other guard rail. And the further away those things get for us, the more fun and absurd the tone of the movie gets. And the more fun and absurd it gets, the more your characters have to sort of interact with and respond to. Knowing that there there certain like sort of sequences that feel a little bit inspired by some of our some of our other work that maybe we didn’t have this sort of time or budget to do, right, we definitely are kind of revisiting some fun things in this movie in bigger and more extraordinary ways. But it gets pretty wild. I mean, there were days on set where you couldn’t like walk anywhere, because it was just a bloodbath. And that for us is super fun. You build these incredible elaborate sets. And then by the end of the shoot, it’s like wow, what a what a crazy transformation.

Dan Stevens: It was definitely the bloodiest thing I’ve ever worked on in terms of volume, just pints of red syrup that were required on set. The fun and the ridiculousness of that as well, and just sort of, you know, if somebody vomits up blood, it’s like, okay, we’ve all seen that, but what if it lasts for like, a minute (laughs). Like, how good is that?

Melissa Barrera: “This is this is the most blood that I’ve ever experienced in a movie. I’ve seen some movies that have like a bathtub full of blood or someone comes out of blood and like in the water, but like, but talking about the amount of blood that you see throughout a movie, this is probably up there with the most. It’s a lot. We have blood cannons. That says a lot.”

Will Abigail’s Bloodsoaked Promise Pay Off?

Frank holding a wooden stake in Abigail
Image via Universal Pictures

While there is a horrific element still to the film, there is an inherent comedy to the juxtaposition between this sweet-looking ballerina girl and the ruthless, vampiric killer that she becomes.

Gillett, who co-directed the film with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, makes an interesting point about the use of blood within Abigail. That is, the Abigail team thought the use of a youthful main character such as Abigail would help to balance out the elevated level of “gore and violence,” allowing the team to “go harder and more extreme.” While this choice could risk giving the film an incredibly disconcerting feel, Gillett instead hopes that Abigail will feel “more fun and absurd.”

The elements of Abigail do indeed sound quite absurd. Horror film veteran Barrera spoke about “blood cannons” while Gillett talked about sets being unnavigable because they were so doused in blood. Both Barrera and Stevens seem adamant that the level of blood in Abigail is unlike not only what they have personally experienced, but what most audiences have experienced as well. The sheer volume of blood does have the potential to achieve comedy through excess.


Abigail’s 1936 Inspiration Teases An Appearance By 1 Classic Horror Character (Not Dracula)

This classic horror character could be in the upcoming remake Abigail due to the inspiration it takes from this 1936 Universal monster film.

Beyond the cast and crew’s description, the premise and trailers for Abigail seem to corroborate this absurdism. While there is a horrific element still to the film, there is an inherent comedy to the juxtaposition between this sweet-looking ballerina girl and the ruthless, vampiric killer that she becomes. Some Abigail trailer moments that particularly stand out are when a character says “we captured a vampire…a ballerina vampire” and later the trailer ends with “I f***ing hate ballet.” Lines like these indicate that Abigail will find absurdist humor within its bloodsoaked horror content.

Abigail Movie Poster showing a little girl covered in blood wearing a ballerina dress


Abigail is a 2024 horror thriller directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The plot follows a group of people who kidnap the daughter of a dangerous crime lord only to discover that the little girl is actually a vicious vampire out for blood. Alisha Weir stars as the titular character alongside Kathryn Newton, Melissa Barrera, and Dan Stevens.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin , Tyler Gillett

Release Date
April 19, 2024

Universal Pictures

Guy Busick , Stephen Shields

Kathryn Newton , Dan Stevens , Giancarlo Esposito , Kevin Durand , Melissa Barrera , Alisha Weir , Angus Cloud , William Catlett

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