Exclusive: Abigail star Dan Stevens on why he's drawn to horror movies

Dan Stevens has explained why he’s so drawn to horror movies ahead of the release of his new horror film Abigail this Friday (April 19).

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about why he’s so drawn to the genre, Stevens said: "For me, it's often filmmaker-led. I find a lot of very fun, inventive filmmakers like to work in the genre space.

"They're very different films. They're both a bit weird and a bit funny, as well as gory and strange. That tickles something that I enjoy, blending those genres."

He continued: "Particularly with Abigail, comedy horror tends to confuse people, but I don't know how you would describe this really. As well as being very gory and bloody, it's also very silly and funny."

kathryn newton, dan stevens, kevin durand, abigail

Related: Abigail trailer sees Dan Stevens and Melissa Barrera battle a ballerina vampire

Directed by Scream duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Abigail follows a group of criminals – played by Stevens, Melissa Barrera, Kathryn Newton, and the late Angus Cloud – as they kidnap the ballerina daughter (played by Alisha Weir) of a powerful underworld figure for ransom.

However, they soon find themselves in a fight for survival when they discover the blood-sucking nature of the little girl.

While he’s perhaps best known for his role as Matthew Crawley in period drama Downton Abbey, Stevens is certainly no stranger to the horror genre, having previously starred in films such as Apostle, The Guest and Colossal. He’s also set to star opposite Hunter Schafer in the Tilman Singer-directed horror Cuckoo later this year.

angus cloud, kathryn newton, alisha weir, kevin durand, dan stevens, melissa barrera, will catlett, abigail

We also spoke to Kathryn Newton about Abigail's practical effects, with the actor saying the experience was "next level".

"I don't know if it's more fun because I always have fun no matter what. But this is a different kind of movie. If I needed to reach for a body, it was right there," she said.

"You do have fun losing yourself in those roles. I don't take myself very seriously, there's nothing more fun than doing crazy things.

"Halloween is one thing, getting dressed up and doing it, but actually getting to dig in there to some bodies, it's next level."

alisha weir, abigail

Related: Melissa Barrera responds to Scream reunion on new movie Abigail

Meanwhile, Alisha Weir explained to us how Abigail is a "different" kind of vampire movie. "Going into Abigail, I didn't know a huge amount about vampires. I knew the obvious about the daylight because I'd seen Vampire Diaries and I'd seen other clips of vampires, but I didn't know their history," she said.

"What I think is so funny and what makes Abigail so different is at the start, you just think she's a little girl, but she's been living centuries and been doing this all the time. I think that's what makes Abigail so different and special and so amazing to get to play her."

The Matilda star also said she learned a lot starring in the movie, adding: "I talked a lot to Matt and Tyler and my coach Nancy which helped me discover more about Abigail's character and vampires as well."

Abigail is released in cinemas on April 19.

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