Movies like Abigail: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have never been (radio) silent in their citation of the horror classics that have shaped their work, and “Abigail” marks no exception in that respect. Some might call that approach derivative of those much better films, but there is at least a certain energy to films like “Abigail” that makes them watchable while they remind you of horror films that are probably more worth your time.

Once more, you can consider this list less as “8 Movies to Watch If You Liked Abigail” and more as “8 Movies That Do What Abigail Does Better” (maybe it’s time I pick different titles…), but regardless, the films chosen here all reflect a certain aspect of Radio Silence’s approach to offer you a different angle on their chosen ideas. Whether outright horror films confined to single spaces or psychological warfare with tutus, here are 8 movies to watch if you liked “Abigail”:

1. Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan (2010)

Abigail is a ballerina. “Black Swan” is about ballet. I could just stop it there (although my credentials as a film connoisseur would probably come into question), but in truth, Darren Aronofsky’s story of a tortured ballerina driving herself beyond the scope of sanity toward perfection is more a horror film than anything else. Like “Abigail,” Nina (Natalie Portman) moves with grace and precision, but her destination is far more destructive to her own body than anyone else’s (except maybe Mila Kunis’s). Abigail practices psychological warfare, while Nina’s mind is at constant war with itself. It may not be as fun as “Abigail” (unless, of course, you found it to be a derivative slog), but “Black Swan” is every bit as disturbing and twice as thought-provoking.

2. Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale (2000)

Never trust these kids. That’s the takeaway you should be retaining from Kinji Fukasaku’s now-iconic “Battle Royale,” in which a junior high class in an alternate authoritarian Japan is sent to an island and forced to fight to the death until only one remains. Throw in some pulpy, J-horror violence, and the film isn’t a far cry from what you get in “Abigail.” Just as bloody and just as reliant on issues of trust, Radio Silence’s film may not be directly indebted to “Battle Royale,” but the lineage of horror influences no doubt leads back to Japan at some point, and Fukasaku’s film is one of many pillars propping up the genre.

3. Panic Room (2002)

8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Abigail’ (2024) - Panic Room (2002)

Probably the film most directly related to “Abigail” in that it follows characters trapped in a house while a home invasion of sorts is afoot, David Fincher’s “Panic Room” revels in precisely the sort of affluently structured claustrophobia that this later film finds so appealing. Following a mother and daughter (Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart) as they hide away in their panic room while a group of robbers rummages through the place, Fincher’s film tightens the tension and turns the location into a supporting character, giving every corner the potential to be either a savior or a death sentence. In “Panic Room,” it’s the family facing terror at every corner; in “Abigail,” it’s the invaders that find themselves out of their depth.

4. Let the Right One In (2008)

8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Abigail’ (2024) - Let the Right One In (2008)

If you happen to watch “Abigail” without having seen any of the marketing material (not even the poster), then you’d be going into the film in the best mindset, for Radio Silence crafts the film around certain revelations that the trailers just outright spoil. On the off-chance that you are one of these rare individuals, we won’t spoil precisely what in that approach gives “Abigail” a point of reference to Tomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One In”—although rest assured in the knowledge that the directors themselves cited it as an influence.

An intimate Swedish story of a young bullied boy who befriends a mysterious girl in the Stockholm suburbs, Alfredson’s film is sweet and bloody in a way that you might not expect, even if you know the conceit of the film going into it. Similarly, that same conceit of unexpected levels of gore and twisted reveals drives “Abigail” to its desired place, though suffice it to say, the end result is far less wholesome in its excess.

5. Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice (1988)

Look, “Abigail” may be a horror film on paper, but it’s a horror film guided just as much by comedy as it is by murder. Give the film a few slight tonal tweaks and a greater reliance on bombastic effects, and it doesn’t become entirely unreasonable to imagine the film as Tim Burton-adjacent. To that end, Burton’s own story of not-quite-ordinary individuals messing around with unwelcome guests takes a far goofier avenue, but it’s one that works precisely for the sort of stylized gothic tone sought out by the man who once ruled that domain. “Beetlejuice” may not be the most obvious pairing with “Abigail,” but its tonal divergences on an unexpectedly similar premise would provide a unique tonic to a project that doesn’t have the stamina to back up its own self-impressed cleverness.

6. Barbarian (2022)

8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Abigail’ (2024) - Barbarian (2022)

Like “Abigail” (if the film were actually marketed with its plot developments in mind), the less said about Zach Creggar’s “Barbarian,” the better. Those who were there in the far-distant time of 2022 might remember the buzz around a film called “Barbarian” and all the assurances from horror aficionados that you must see the film, and with as little context as humanly possible. All you need to know is that the film follows a young woman (Georgina Campbell) who rents out an Airbnb, only to find another guest (Bill Skarsgård) who is already staying there. From here, Creggar’s film diverges with just as much glee as Radio Silence’s; only when “Barbarian” goes off the wall, it goes off the wall! The end result may be a bit exhausting in its silliness, but “Abigail” offers just as much levity in that respect to make this a worthwhile pairing.

7. Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Abigail’ (2024) - Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

Set around a group of teenagers who lock themselves in a mansion during a tropical storm only to find out that one of them may be picking off their friends one at a time, Halina Reijn’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is arguably more comedy than horror. That said, Reijn’s stylized depiction of Gen-Z paranoia is brought to life by a nicely eclectic ensemble—Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, and Pete Davidson among them—who sell the outlandishness of the situation in much the same way that Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens and Kathryn Newton attempt to do in “Abigail.” Driven by a desire to both subvert horror expectations and pay homage to them, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is precisely the sort of film that could scratch that same itch if you enjoyed “Abigail” for all of its cutesy self-referentiality.

8. Scream (1996)

8 Movies to Watch If You Liked ‘Abigail’ (2024) - Scream (1996)

And speaking of self-referential…

If you know anything about Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, you probably know them to be the first (and so far only) directors to take on Wes Craven’s beloved “Scream” franchise after the creator’s death—resulting in a surprisingly decent start and an even more surprisingly deflated follow-up. “Scream,” about a horror film-obsessed serial killer stalking the small-town folks of Woodsboro, pretty much set the blueprint for most of the “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” horror films to come. Boasting a sharp wit and genuine interest in guiding its narrative to the most satisfying ends, “Scream” is not only a perfect baseline to see what “Abigail” does right but also what it does poorly. It only feels right, then, that the master should be part of your watching experience to school the youngsters on how it’s done.

Read More: Abigail (2024) Movie Review: Gory Problems of a Vampire Nepo Baby

Similar Posts