What better way to cap off your week than by sinking your teeth into a wickedly hilarious and gory flick for 93 minutes? Especially when it stars Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his beleaguered, co-dependent servant, Renfield.
The legend of Dracula has been endlessly recounted since Bram Stoker first introduced the vampire in 1897. The iconic character was first brought to life on the silver screen by Bela Lugosi in the classic 1931 film, Dracula. Some may even notice parallels between Cage’s portrayal of the Count and Lugosi’s iconic performance. However, Renfield offers a fresh take on the age-old tale, showcasing a Dracula and Renfield like we’ve never seen before.
Revitalizing the classic tale of Dracula and Renfield
Renfield is set in the present day, where Dracula looks more dried up and wilted than a neglected houseplant, and his loyal servant, Renfield, is just about ready to quit his day job. Like many of us can relate, he’s had enough of his egotistical boss who’s been sucking the life out of him for centuries.
Thankfully, Renfield finds solace in a support group, where he meets a quirky crew of characters who are as battered and beaten down as he is. Discovering that he’s not alone in his struggles, and with the group’s encouragement and positive affirmations, Renfield sheds his timid persona and emerges as a fearless bug-eating badass who’s ready to take on his blood-sucking boss.
The movie also features some tongue-in-cheek corruption, complete with crooked cops and a drug lord played by the hilarious Ben Schwartz. If that’s not enough, Awkwafina plays a daughter out for revenge for the murder of her father against those same gangsters.
Spotlight on the characters in Renfield
It’s worth noting that Hoult as Renfield is truly the star of the film. Traditionally, Renfield has been portrayed as an unappealing character, lacking charm or charisma; but Hoult’s rendition of the character is desirable, with a twinkle of hope in his eyes.
We are granted a glimpse into Renfield’s life and personality before his encounter with Dracula, adding more layers to his character. Hoult’s performance is full of humor and wit, with subtle nuances peppered throughout by facial expressions. The inner monologue narrated throughout the film adds another dimension to the character and story.
This movie also gives us a new take on the Prince of Darkness. In Renfield, he is campy, eccentric, and hilarious—brought to life by Cage’s unique acting style. In fact, it feels as though the role was tailor-made for him, given his particular brand of performance. It begs the question of why it took so long for him to portray such an iconic character, considering how perfectly he inhabits the role.
Renfield is an action-packed, bloody-good time
In addition to the fun storyline and the incredible cast and humor, there are action scenes which are straight-up bananas! We’re talking limb-ripping, blood-spurting, over-the-top kills. There’s really nothing like watching severed limbs pummel and pound others to death.
The fight scenes are not only gut-bustlingly funny, but thrilling and full of adrenaline-pumping moments. The choreography and execution are top-notch; you can tell just how much fun the crew has while filming them.
With a swoosh of the cape and a roll of the credits
When Robert Kirkman first envisioned Renfield, his intention was to create a horror comedy that would leave audiences gasping in both terror and laughter. With the help of director Chris McKay, that vision is realized in all its blood-soaked glory.
From start to finish, Renfield delivers an unapologetically over-the-top, gory romp that stays true to its promise. Despite the fact that many characters meet their demise (or are already deceased), the story never loses its pulse. So sit back, enjoy, and let the blood flow.
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"Renfield" Review"Renfield" Review
- Lots of gore
- Humor lands
- Fantastic action scenes
- Generic plot