Renfield – ★★★★✩

Certificate – 15
Directed By – Chris McKay
Starring – Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz.
Running Time – 93 Minutes (1 Hour 33 Minutes)

As a fan of Chris McKay’s previous directing outings with the fantastic LEGO Batman and brilliant The Tomorrow War, whilst I’m not a horror fan, I went into his new film with an open mind and excitement. I mean, Nicolas Cage is playing fucking Dracula!

Renfield (Hoult), the tortured aide to his narcissistic boss, Dracula (Cage), is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding. However, after centuries of servitude, he’s ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of the Prince of Darkness.

Image via Universal

This movie had me smiling from start to finish. I might not be a horror fan, but I can enjoy this sort of horror. It was entertaining, funny, bloody and surprisingly more of an action film.

Normally, most films have one or two MVPs, but with Renfield, three big hitters in Hoult, Cage and Awkwafina made this a success.

Hoult is delightful in this role bringing out a very Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral as this bummerling Englishman and the fact he was able to bonus off both Cage and Awkwafina in different ways.

Image via Universal

With Cage, he’s a shy, nervous, terrified servant and with Awkwafina’s Rebecca Quincy, Renfield finds his humanity, the man he was before the count, and it’s with her that he can admit that he was at fault for his own life.

This is what I love about McKay’s movies is that within his characters is always able to find humanity and masculinity and its different faces, especially its heroes and find their purpose in life.

Elsewhere, Awkwafina is a riot in this and delivers the biggest laughs and also shows off some badass action. There’s an element of Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley to her character, whose story is every 80s cop movie about it.

Image via Universal

Now let’s talk about Cage, who is utterly terrifying and brilliant, and you can see him having the best time acting this iconic character. Honestly, this is best looking Dracula to screen because his man would haunt your nightmares. Yet you can see why anyone could fall for his charm.

Image via Universal

A clear inspiration for the look of this version of the character comes from the 1931 Bela Lugosi movie, which McKay does a wonderful job adapting.

Finally, when it comes to the cast, Schwartz does a great job playing the son of a mob boss that has that air of entitled douchebag about him, but he’s just a kid who wants to prove himself to his mum.

The comedy hits at the right moments to bring a continuation of laughs and even with Cage in the role, it never went too camp. The action is fantastic, and Marco Beltrami’s score slaps!

Image via Universal

The only nip-picky thing for me would be that Universal missed an opportunity to continue the 1931 Dracula theme and use a classic 1930s studio logo, similar to when Warner Bros released Joker. As I said, it’s a little nip-picky thing that doesn’t affect the quality or enjoyment of the film.


With three great performances with Hoult, Awkwafina and Cage, Renfield is a bloody, fun, action-packed time that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear from stat-to-finish.

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