If Vampire Joint ‘Abigail’ Gets a Sequel, Star Melissa Barrera Might Finally Get to Play Her Dream Creature SuperNayr

[Editor’s note: The following story contains major spoilers for the ending of “Abigail.”]

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s latest horror outing, “Abigail,” comes with plenty of surprises — pint-sized ballerina vampires, double crosses galore, and a lot of exploding bodies — but the biggest of all might be its somewhat happy ending.

A modern spin on the classic “Dracula’s Daughter,” the film follows a group of rag-tag criminals (including “Scream” star Melissa Barrera, genre delight Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, the late Angus Cloud, Kevin Durand, and Will Catlett) who are tasked with kidnapping (and holding overnight) the young daughter of a local criminal mastermind. Too bad for them that their charge, played by Alisha Weir, isn’t a normal little girl: she’s also a vicious vampire who is (understandably) quite pissed off about her abduction.

David Zaslav at the premiere of 'The Flash' held at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)
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By the time the film wraps up, Abigail has chomped her way through most of the crew, offing each of them in surprising (and splashy!) ways. Except for Barrera’s Joey, who has served as something of a protector to the youngster throughout the film. After the dust (blood?) has settled, Abigail and her dad (Matthew Goode) do something kind of nuts: they let Joey go. It’s a rare bit of mercy in a gleefully twisted film, and star Barrera has some thoughts on why it happened.

“I think there’s a mirror situation going on between her and Abigail, I think that Joey is probably the first person that’s ever appeared to care for her,” Barrera told IndieWire during a recent interview. “Despite it all being an act by Abigail, … there’s a point in the film where Joey’s like, ‘You told me all these things. You were acting, but what you told me, some of it is true,’ and that means that Abigail, her defenses kind of came down. Her walls came down a little bit, and she allowed Joey in, because Joey was letting her in. I think that that’s rare, and I think that we do that in life. … Sometimes it’s easier to talk to strangers.”

The pair’s connection may have been tenuous, but it was real. It was, dare we say it, even human? “I think that that connection is real, and I think that, in the end, it’s an act of gratitude from Abigail of like, ‘You helped me, and so this is my way of saying thank you. I will not kill you right now,’” the actress said.

ABIGAIL, from left: Alisha Weir, Kathryn Newton, 2024. ph: Bernard Walsh /© Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection
‘Abigail’©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s also an ending that sets up for the possibility of further adventures with Joey and Abigail. Barrera said that the film’s script, written by Stephen Shields and Guy Busick, initially was far more overt with continuation possibilities.

“There was a version of the script that pointed even more towards a sequel, and then the ending changed, and it became what it is,” Barrera said. “To me, it felt, because I had read the other ending that was so much like, ‘This story will be continued,’ and this one is just kind of open-ended, I didn’t know that people were going to pick up on the possibility that it could continue.”

In the film, Joey is bitten by another recently turned vampire (Stevens as the fast-talking Frank), but when he’s killed, Abigail and her dad tell Joey that means she’s in the clear, that she won’t turn into a vampire. Barrera herself admitted that was a disappointing twist for her.

ABIGAIL, from left: Angus Cloud, Kathryn Newton, Alisha Weir (back to camera), Kevin Durand, Dan Stevens (back), Melissa Barrera, Will Catlett, 2024. ph: Bernard Walsh /© Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection
‘Abigail’©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

“One of my biggest, this is a spoiler, but one of my biggest frustrations with this film was that I’m not a vampire,” she said. “Literally, it’s been my dream since I was ten years old to play a vampire, and when I found out Matt and Tyler were doing a vampire movie, I was like, ‘Cool, oh, my God,’ and then my character’s the one that doesn’t become a vampire, and that made me genuinely so sad.”

Then again, who knows if what Abigail and her dear old dad are saying is actually true? They are, after all, beastly creatures who live on blood, of course they might lie on top of all that bad behavior. Barrera agrees, and can even see that possibility of that lie informing a potential sequel.

“But she does get bit, so there is a possibility of, if the movie does well enough and they want to do a sequel, that there is a vampire Joey, if that happens,” Barrera said. “In my head, she gets home, she turns into a vampire, and then she starts hunting Abigail, ‘You lied to me. I helped you.’ That could be an interesting follow-up, and then they have to team up and defeat some other clan of vampires or something. That could definitely happen. I just want to wear the fangs and fly.”

A Universal Pictures release, “Abigail” is now in theaters.

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