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How Is Abigail Different from Scream? Radio Silence on "Absolutely Bananas" New Vampire Flick

Abigail hits the big screen Friday, April 19.

By Josh Weiss

With so many sequels, remakes, and reboots flooding today's horror market, Radio Silence co-directors Matt Betinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet are looking to add something new and refreshing to the conversation by way of Abigail

Hitting theaters everywhere next month, the gonzo project centers around a group of criminals (fronted by Melissa Barrera's Joey) who decide to kidnap a 12-year-old girl named Abigail (Alisha Weir) and hold her for ransom in exchange for a butt-load of cash. What the felons aren't aware of, however, is the fact that their ballet-loving hostage is a bloodthirsty vampire with superhuman strength, stamina, and durability. Collecting a whole bunch of money suddenly takes a backseat as the blackmailers find themselves locked in a grisly battle for survival.

"We're playing it serious," Gillet explains in the latest issue of Total Film. "We're dealing with absolutely bananas nonsense, but we take absurd things seriously."

"We talk a lot about taking every genre that we're mixing very seriously," echoes Betinelli-Olpin. "The heist movie in this is a f**king serious heist movie, and the monster movie is a serious monster movie, and the character stuff is really emotional and earnest."

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Abigail Directors on How Their New Vampire Movie Differs from Scream

Of course, Betinelli-Olpin and Gillet were certainly honored to play around in the hallowed Ghostface sandbox originally co-developed by screenwriter Kevin Williamson and late director Wes Craven. Over the course of two movies, Radio Silence always dreamed of unleashing a memorable genre icon to call their very own. It's only fitting that their latest studio partner happens to be Universal Pictures, the original one-stop shop for all things monstrous on the silver screen. "It was really, really nice to go into this new world where we don't have the pressures of a franchise that you're tiptoeing around," Gillet tells the magazine.

"On Scream, I think we were always rattle-testing ideas up against what a Scream movie should be," adds Betinelli-Olpin. "But in making Abigail, the only thing that we were testing our ideas against was: 'Is it weird enough? Is it fun enough? Is it scary enough?'"

Another big obstacle was finding a way to set the film apart from just over a century of celebrated vampire tales, while simultaneously paying homage to what had come before. Gillet continues: "There was a foundation that felt traditional, and that gave us an opportunity to f**k with all of these traditions and tropes. We took the lore, which is very hodgepodgey, depending on which movies are canon to you, and we did our version of that."

Who Stars in Abigail?

Peter (Kevin Durand) carries Abigail (Alisha Weir) while the cast stands next to him in Abigail (2024).

Barrera (Scream) headlines the story as Joey, leader of an unfortunate kidnapping crew whose members also include the acting talents of Dan Stevens (Legion), Kathryn Newton (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), William Catlett (Black Lightning), Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian), and the late Angus Cloud (Euphoria). Alisha Weir (Matilda: The Musical), meanwhile, steps into the ballet shoes and tutu of the titular Abigail.

Stephen Shields (The Hole in the Ground) and Guy Busick (Scream) co-wrote the screenplay. William Sherak, Paul Neinstein, James Vanderbilt, Tripp Vinson, and Chad Villella serve as producers. Ron Lynch and Macdara Kelleher are executive producers.

When Does Abigail Open in Theaters?

Abigail will sink its fangs into theaters everywhere Friday, April 19. The film is rated R "for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, pervasive language and brief drug use," according to

Looking for more bloodsucking action? Head on over to Peacock for vampiric titles like Dark ShadowsThe Vampire DiariesVampire AcademyNosferatu the VampyreLet the Right One inVampire in Vegas, and more!