Review Of Renfield

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Renfield has Nicholas Cage as Count Dracula- let me say it again—Nicholas Cage is Count Dracula in Renfield. However, this movie is shabby in its own way except for the character of a vampire named Cageula (or is he DracuCage?). The good news is a cartoonish amount of carnage that explodes red juices like Capri Sun pouches attached to lit dynamite; the bad is a wishy-washy consistency when it comes to its sense of humor. Renfield is an action-horror-comedy about toxic relationships and codependency that never manages to unify the subgenres that fight against one another within it, but still entertains thanks to an ensemble cast having too much fun.

Ryan Ridley wrote the screenplay based on Robert Kirkman’s original idea for Renfield, which sees humour in Dracula and his famous familiar’s nightmarishly unhealthy relationship. Nick Hoult plays a loveable weirdo as Renfield himself, a sad guy who’s stuck working under his vampire employer at work. This isn’t about finding logic behind why Renfield gets superpowers from eating bugs or other divergences from source material into mythology as was done in early 2000s movies but rather enjoying the madcap nature of this out-of-control film. Both characters end up there eventually: New Orleans modernity conspires with Lobo crime family (with Ben Schwartz as Teddy, loudmouth son) and Awkwafina playing an indefatigable police officer to make them fit perfectly among sinners and saints alike.

Renfield has loads of Universal Monsters respect and adoration by recreating some scenes from the black-and-white classic 1931 film “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi into which Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult are inserted instead. He didn’t make a typical supernatural horror movie; instead, Chris McKay exploited gothic elements like how Dracula portrayed himself by wearing the hat and cloak with a seat made of blood bags on his throne, as well as dirty, dark conditions that could be found in the Count’s lair. Renfield appears anemic, but Dracula shows terrible examples of vampire grotesque upon further and more damaged evolutions with patches of missing skin. Even though it doesn’t come off as being scary at all; McKay does add some very rich terrifyingness into its DNA like Drac’s bat transformation or when he goes smoke monster fast.

Nicolas Cage is playing Dracula who not only has the lothario charms to hypnotize innocent folks, but also the mad creature like a god who got tired of hiding in darkness and his eyes which have the same craziness displayed by some of the best Cage performances. Nic Cage plays an alpha Dracula that would fit right into any early Universal horror classics or Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire – shades of vampiric personality from all three movies are present.

However, Rebecca is a beat cop at heart who lives for her late father’s honor within a corrupt force with Awkwafina assigned to not-always-hilarious police procedural subplot. Furthermore, Hoult shares striking on-screen chemistry with Cage himself although there can be no shopping montages alone or evaluations about popular “therapy speak” that do not actually translate into being an awesome psychiatrist that I thought this trailer was going to give me. While there are standout moments throughout — see Ben Schwartz as Scarface-meets-Jean-Ralphio mama’s boy from Parks & Recreation—McKay fails to provide much steadiness amid this disjointed journey.

What is successful is the unexpected, yet gruesome, level of violence portrayed right from the first decapitation. A boosted up Renfield, having been fed by a spider, punches a head off like one of those Friday the 13th films where Jason Takes Manhattan, and that pretty much tells you what to expect. (McKay’s SFX department goes ham on this with gallons of spilled blood as Renfield pulverizes Lobo goons or Dracula dines but I wanted a more practical splatters (clothing stains never match animated amounts of liquid) while still keeping it digital bloodiness that adds a diabolically cartoonish accent.

As Renfield jumps about in a shootout at a restaurant, Hoult becomes somewhat of an action star and dismembers arms using serving platters as his weapon which takes it way beyond being just another vampire action movie with him playing the most agile assistant ever. As far as cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen’s kind of frantic shaky-cam bouncing goes though, I am not entirely fond of it; however, it does just enough not to gut-fang excitement (as happened in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins).

However, for all its action spectacle, Renfield is ultimately better suited as an homage to horror. Still though: it may be more like an action spectacle than even an eccentric buddy comedy–and then again; it might seem like a criminal thriller more than anything else. However none of these aspects are damning enough against Cage’s hold on the screen and Hoult, Awkwafina, Schwartz and Shohreh Aghdashloo as Lobo matriarch also have their moments.


If you were hoping for Nicolas Cage’s Count Dracula to go completely over-the-top then Renfield won’t let you down. What lasts is the absolute fulfillment after experiencing a vampire splatterfest built around one of our generation’s greatest character actors becoming a horror icon. Nicholas Hoult’s version of the title character might be one of the weirdest people alive and brings us all to tears when he realizes his independence is more precious than anything else; nevertheless, Renfield’s emotional journey ends up as a mishmash of ideas that never quite gel together. Several different notions are being thrown around at once within this movie that clocked in at just 90 minutes and none of them really got enough time for development beyond being mindless blood-lusting entertainment – and you know what? That’s okay by Renfield.

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