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Renfield Is A Campy Gory Delight With Nicolas Cage’s Dracula A Bloody Highlight

When the trailer for Renfield was first released, many (including me) were enthralled by the idea of Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula. Let me tell you this; he’s definitely the highlight of the movie. Director Chris McKay manages to balance horror and campiness in Renfield, so much so that Nicolas Cage’s Dracula is both scary and funny at the same time.

Bloody Good Time

What is Renfield about? It’s more than just a horror comedy; it has exciting action and bloody buckets of gore to boot. Director Chris McKay seems to want to channel Sam Raimi’s style, in his own way. As Dracula’s servant and assistant, Robert Montague Renfield’s (Nicholas Hoult) job is to find victims for Dracula while the dark lord is sleeping during the day. To do this, he has supernatural strength and reflexes, which is where the “action” parts of the movie come in. At the same time, he also goes to a support group for those with abusive or toxic relationships. He wants to break away from Dracula and that’s when all chaos starts to break loose in Renfield.

Like I previously mentioned at the top of this review, the biggest reason why you’d want to watch Renfield is Nicolas Cage’s Dracula. It’s amazing how unhinged his performance is. It’s great to see Nicolas Cage in a big-budget theatrical movie again after years of straight-to-streaming roles, and he certainly gives it his all. If you’re worried that this is “Wicker Man” Nicolas Cage, I can assure you that it’s not. This is the actor at his best with a dramatic flair that I’m sure many of his fans have missed seeing on the big screen.

That said, Nicholas Hoult’s Renfield is no slouch. He’s a huge contributor to the humour and tone of the movie, and why it works. Also, his action scenes are a glory to behold. This is a horror comedy and the movie definitely lets you know that it’s still very much “horror”. Limbs (hands and feet) get torn off, heads get crushed and bodies explode into chunks, and there are buckets of blood in almost every fight scene. If you like gore, you definitely won’t be disappointed and almost none of it got cut by Malaysian censors as well, so that’s a plus.

As for the supporting characters, Ben Schwartz and Awkwafina both bring a lot of laughs to the movie. As for the latter, I was pleasantly surprised by her performance in Renfield; it’s less over-the-top and shrill compared to her other roles like in Crazy Rich Asians or even Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. However, the best thing about the movie is still the relationship between Nicholas Hoult’s Renfield and Nicolas Cage’s Dracula. The script juggles a lot by balancing everything, but the themes of overcoming codependency and abusive/toxic relationships are ones that many viewers will be able to relate to.

Last but not least, one of my favourite parts of the film is earlier on when the movie directly references one of Universal’s classic monster films. I won’t spoil which one, but it resulted in one of the best scenes in the movie, and one that horror buffs will certainly appreciate, especially if they know their horror movie history.

A Lot Of Bites In This One

With gore and humour galore, as well as Nicolas Cage eating and chewing the scenery in every scene he’s in, Renfield is just such a bloody good time. It’s a horror comedy that comes with a balance of campiness, horror, tension, action and gore. I’m sure Cage’s version of Dracula will appear in lists of best Draculas in history very, very soon.

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

We attended an early screener of Renfield courtesy of United International Pictures Malaysia. Renfield is slated to premiere in Malaysian cinemas on 13 April 2023.

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Comment(2)

  1. Vampire Movie Renfield Gets Vampire Survivors Tie-In Game | KAKUCHOPUREI.COM

    April 17, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    […] It’s out right now in Early Access. There are only three stages and one playable character in the game, but it’s only US$5 on Steam. In the meantime, Renfield the movie is showing right now in theatres; you should go watch it as it’s a load of fun.  […]

  2. Nicolas Cage Shows Up At Summer Game Fest, Unveils Dead By Daylight Gameplay

    June 9, 2023 at 3:28 am

    […] Nicolas Cage has become a horror icon in recent years, starring in movies like Willy’s Wonderland and the recent Renfield. […]

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