Over the decades countless movies, plays, books, comics, video games, and
television shows have depicted Vampires in various mythos which often
include differences in behaviors, abilities, and, motivations. While there have been many Vampires, none have ever achieved the fabled
status of Dracula who has been the template ever since Stokers’s book and
the classic original film as well as subsequent appearances. In the new film “Renfield” audiences are introduced to Renfield (Nicholas Holt), who recounts his past as an ambitious lawyer who ended up serving
Dracula (Nicolas Cage) as a Familiar when his original intention was to
close a real estate deal. After his Master is injured after another attempt by Vampire Hunters,
Renfield relocates Dracula to New Orleans and looks to find suitable prey
to help his master return to full power.
This in turn leads Renfield to a self-help group as he plans to help the
poor souls there by using their tormentors as prey for his boss which he
hopes will in some way eliminate the burden that has built over the
decades from his servitude. This plan goes horribly wrong when he attempts to subdue an abusive
individual and his group lands Renfield on the radar as not only an eager
a police officer named Rebecca ( Awkwafina), and a drug lord named Edward
(Ben Schwartz). Mixing humor, action, and gore aplenty, Renfield must also deal with his
rising self-help motivations as he looks to stand up to his boss once and
for all and have his needs heard and respected which naturally does not
sit Weill with Dracula.
What follows is an amusing, chaotic, and gory adventure that while at
times inconsistent and meandering with the story; still finds enough ways
Cage hams it up to new levels in his portrayal of Dracula and he is
literally chewing the scenery in every scene in which he is featured and
it is one of his most enjoyable performances in recent years.
Hoult, Awkfwafina, and the supporting cast work well, and while the film
does get more than a bit loose with the story and gaps in logic even for a
film of this type it still manages to work. Dracula talks of a big plan
for world domination but we get little more than lip service which would
have helped to make this version of Dracula a more defined character.
The focus is more on comedic action than horror and it is clear that the
the cast seemed to be having a great time with their roles so as long as you
are willing to overlook issues with the plot; you may find “Renfield” one
of the more enjoyable comedic outings of the year.
3.5 stars out of 5