Abigail age rating: Here's why the horror-thriller is rated R

The vampire horror movie Abigail is wearing its R rating with pride. Here's why the original film from Universal Pictures is rated R.
(from left) Abigail (Alisha Weir) and Sammy (Kathryn Newton) in Abigail, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett. - Courtesy Overlook Film Fest
(from left) Abigail (Alisha Weir) and Sammy (Kathryn Newton) in Abigail, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett. - Courtesy Overlook Film Fest /

Horror fans have all eyes on Abigail, the latest horror/thriller flick from Universal Pictures. With an original story for the Dracula's daughter character first introduced in 1936, the new vampire movie joins the ranks of many other Universal monster movies, but unlike other recent horror films from the studio, Abigail is rated R.

Abigail herself is portrayed by a young actress, but just because the main character is a child doesn't mean that it's an appropriate movie for kids. The vampire Abigail is played by Alisha Weir, and the ensemble cast (most of whom are kidnappers turned prey) includes Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, Will Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud, and Giancarlo Esposito.

The Motion Picture Association of America has assigned Abigail an R rating overwhelmingly because of the gore (think blood cannons!). The MPAA officially stated that the rating is because of "strong bloody violence and gore throughout, pervasive language, and brief drug use."

If you're curious about what to expect from the horror elements shown in Abigail, I recommend looking not only to the trailers, released clips, and reviews, but also to the directors' previous horror films and projects. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directed Abigail, and you may remember the duo from their work on the 2022 Scream movie, as well as Ready or Not, which were both also rated R.

If you loved Scream and Ready or Not (and you also like gory vampire movies), chances are that you'll love Abigail too. It's a movie meant to be seen with a large crowd in a theater, and it's promised to be a fun thrill ride from beginning to end. But, if gore and blood are not your cup of tea, this might be a film that you want to skip.

At the WonderCon convention in March 2024, the Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett revealed that they prioritized practical effects, and during the conversation, they teased that several shots included shooting fake blood from a "cannon" at some of the actors. In the trailer, we also see one of the kidnappers swimming through what looks like a chest-high pool of blood and bodies. All that to say -- when Abigail desribes itself as a gory horror flick, you should believe it.

Watch the trailer below to get a better sense of what kind of gore and violence to expect in the new horror movie Abigail. Spoiler alert: the little girl (who's likely actually a hundreds-year old vampire) will be brutally killing most of the other characters. Watch the latest trailer for Abigail, below:

Abigail was released in theaters on April 19. It's not currently available to stream, but it will drop on Peacock later in 2024.

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