Renfield (2023) – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)

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Renfield, familiar to Dracula betrays him by seeking a new empowered and purposeful life in heroic pursuits, but there is Hell to pay!


Dracula’s ever-faithful bug-eating familiar Renfield leads a tortured existence and examines his toxic co-dependent relationship with Dracula and decides to make a change, but has not given enough thought to Dracula’s maniacal response.


Director(s) Chris McCay
Screenplay By: Ryan Ridley
Based On: An original idea by Robert Kirkman
Date released (In Theatres) March 14, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy, Horror, Fantasy
Duration 1 hour and 33 minutes
Content Rating R
Noted Cast
Renfield Nicholas Hoult
Conde Drácula Nicholas Cage
Rebecca Awkwafina
Mark Brandon Scott Jones
Teddy Lobo Ben Schwartz
Caitlyn Bess Rous
Bellafrancesca Shohreh Aghdashloo

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Film Summary/Review


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I am Dracula! “Renfield” Universal April 14, 2023, Director: Chris McKay, Screenplay: Ryan Ridley

“Renfield” is a comedic, tongue-in-cheek, farcical take on the toxic co-dependent relationship between Dracula and his bug-consuming familiar, Renfield. A man lured and manipulated by the lavish, rich excesses afforded by Dracula to serve as his familiar, who regrets his choice after years of abusive servitude. Renfield joins a co-dependency self-help group with a two-fold purpose of doing some good by ridding the members of their co-dependent abusive acquaintances and honoring his duty to provide sustenance for his dark lord while receiving counseling.

Nicholas Cage masterly plays Dracula with his over-the-top exaggerated expressions and dialogue, which lend itself well to Dracula as the ultimate narcissist. Even when gruesomely yet cooly hideous after an assault by those that pursue him, such as his well-known nemesis Van Helsing, he exhibits a certain nefarious charm. Many in this day and age can relate to having come across a narcissist, whether it be a so-called friend, family member, romantic interest, or as in this case – your aggravating, frustrating, and domineering boss. This premise plays well in this horror-driven comedy, albeit the script could have been more compelling and the sub-characters drawn with a little more depth.


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He Made Me Do It! “Renfield” Universal April 14, 2023, Director: Chris McKay, Screenplay: Ryan Ridley

Nicholas Hault, as Renfield, held his own against the eccentric comic genius of Nicholas Cage’s Dracula. His interaction and commentary on the shared stories of the co-dependency group set up and frame the comedic inspiration of the film. Hilarity plays out with the transformation and rebirth from Renfield as a behind-the-times, old-world, forlorn, enslaved servant to a Mr. Rogers-like hopeful well-clad in bright, uplifting colors with his new studio apartment to match his everything rainbows demeanor. The bright color splash is not limited to everything nice with the violent vomits of red, red blood in Renfield’s graphic fight scenes, which lends itself to comedic moments.

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We Got This! “Renfield” Universal April 14, 2023, Director: Chris McKay, Screenplay: Ryan Ridley.

Awkwafina, as Rebecca, with her serious, driven responses, is well played off of Renfield’s naive new sunshine and rainbows enthusiasm as inspired by her character’s strength of convictions. There is good chemistry between them, which would have benefited the film by expanding their interaction.

Renfield delivers a unique and amusing comical take on this well-tread story. It is entertaining but not comic genius at its best, as in “Young Frankenstein.” However, it has moments that make it a worthy watch.

Things To Note

Why Is “Renfield” Rated R

• Dialog: some mild profanity
• Violence: extreme bloody violence, gore, jump scares, horror.
• Sexual Content: There are no nudity and/or sexual references
• Miscellaneous: sexual expletives, scatological curses, mild profanity, terms/references of deity, adult use of alcohol, traffic, and accidental use of cocaine.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Renfield

The troubled, conflicted, bug-eating, co-dependent flunky familiar to Dracula, who, in a moment of inspiration decides to break free of the chains that bind him to strive to be a better person.

Conde Drácula

A narcissistic ego maniacal Dracula manipulates his co-dependent servant Renfield as he cuts a bloody swath of murderous excess over the years of their acquaintance.

Awkwafina

A driven, honest-to-a-fault, and above-reproach cop in New Orleans trying to carve a name for herself in the shadow of her father, a police officer before her.

Mark

Rebecca’s corrupt partner on the police force.

Teddy Lobo

An overzealous son trying to prove himself to his mother Bellafrancesca, a crime syndicate boss.

Caitlyn

Rebecca’s sister works for the FBI.

Bellafrancesca

Teddy Lobo’s mother/crime syndicate boss.


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