The Reel Review
Dracula’s lifelong servant, Renfield, tries to free himself from a codependent, toxic relationship with his narcissistic boss, the Prince of Darkness, in this horror/comedy starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicholas Cage and Awkwafina.
With such a cute, promising premise, a solid cast, and a slick, CGI-filled production set in New Orleans, Renfield had the potential to be a really funny movie. Instead, this comedy from director Chris McKay (The Lego Movie) is an uninspired, toothless film that relies on ridiculous amounts of violence and cartoonish gore to compensate for its disappointing, paper-thin story and lack of humor.
Renfield does have at least some redeeming elements. As Dracula, Cage is typical over-the-top, scene-chewing Cage, which actually works here, with Hoult charming enough as Dracula’s bug-eating manservant, trading in his Gothic lifestyle for cheerier, more colorful surroundings by. Brandon Scott Jones (Ghosts, Isn’t It Romantic) however, steals the show, with perfect comic timing as the well-meaning group therapist in this film that sadly has more comic bark than bite.
• Despite a long history of often turning down roles in which he is not the lead, Nicholas Cage jumped at the chance to play Dracula, one of his favorite characters.
• Nicholas Hoult will next star in the remake of the iconic 1922 vampire film Nosferatu from writer/director Robert Eggers (The Norseman, The Witch, The Lighthouse). Bill Skarsgård will play the vampire.
• With an estimated $65 million budget, Renfield has been a box office flop, grossing only $23 million worldwide.
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