A Throat-ripping Good Time
Renfield was an entertaining surprise; I was expecting more of a horror picture but what we got was a gloriously violent and at times hilarious action movie with some horror elements. The fight scenes are awesome and there is just a fun energy to the film throughout.
Plot: Renfield, the tortured aide to his narcissistic boss, Dracula, 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.
Review: I haven’t seen a Nicolas Cage movie on the big screen for a few years so it was nice to see him in something as entertaining and gory as Renfield.
A new take on the classic Dracula tale Cage is clearly channeling Bela Lugosi and as always overacts but it’s perfect for this movie as the Universal Monster movies were all about over the top performances.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Renfield, but it’s become one of my favourite action movies of the year with gloriously bloody fight scenes with a highlight being when Renfield “powers up”, rips a guy’s arms off and then proceeds to beat people up with said arms. Nicholas Hoult is well cast as Dracula’s servant Renfield who is a co-dependent and realises he needs to separate himself from Dracula once and for all.
Awkwafina has some great lines and provides some of the film’s humour, but the script generally is at times laugh out loud funny making this an easy watch.
It’s a rapid 96 minutes, perfectly paced with regular fight scenes, geysers of blood and even some throat ripping making this another enjoyable R rated action picture for 2023.
I love the visual style and colour palette chosen for the film and even though he is never particularly scary Nic Cage’s make-up is fierce and it’s a really creepy look for Dracula.
Overall, Renfield is a bloody good time with Cage doing what he does best, Nicholas Hoult making for a sympathetic lead and most importantly some hilariously over the top kills and well executed action scenes.