Legendary actor plays a legendary villain: A review of “Renfield”

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Opinion

Count Dracula has been played by many actors, from Bela Lugosi to my favourite, Christopher Lee. In new film “Renfield,” the legendary Nicolas Cage plays this infamous Prince of Darkness and he slays the role like Buffy would do to him. It is perhaps my new favourite Dracula and Cage role. 

The movie starts with a narration from Robert Montague Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) explaining how he became enthralled into the service of his undead master. The film presents this in 1931’s “Dracula” style in the classic 4:3 black and white aspect ratio, making this film feel like a sequel to Bela Lugosi’s most well-known film. Early in the movie, Renfield explains how he got his Dracula-cursed superpowers, allowing him to gain “Blade” style killing skills, from eating bugs.

At the un-beating heart of this movie is a simple story of an employee who serves a toxic boss. The employee does not know how to quiet quit, and this boss is the original bloodsucker. The boss makes his minion fetch him lunch and then complains about the food quality. Who wouldn’t want a busload of cheerleaders to feed on instead of drug dealers? But sometimes, unholy creatures of the night have to settle for what they can get when they don’t tip well on UberSucks. 

Just like in all buddy movies, the determined new friend of the main character is a cop seeking vengeance against the gangster who shot her father. Rebecca, played by Awkwafina, has a bit of a stereotypical plotline, but Awkwafina plays it well, delivering jokes with her bone-dry sense of humour.

Cage impales his role as Dracula; he is dead and loving it! He plays the part so well I would offer my eternal soul to a vampiress to see more of Nicolas Cage as Dracula. “Renfield” follows the lore of the classic vampire flicks, where Dracula gains good looks when he consumes blood. Cage goes from making Nosferatu look sexy to Bella picking him over Edward levels of hotness. 

The film’s biggest strength has to be the gory fight scenes. They are some of the best I have seen in comedy horrors. Make sure you do not go to the washroom after Rebecca gets offered a promotion. The sanguine symphony of suffering provides a spectacular sight. 

The only thing I disliked about the film is the predictability, but I also wasn’t expecting any  major unpredictable plot twists. If you have seen vampire movies and buddy cop films in the past, you can predict what will happen. That being said, it is still a bloody great time.

This film is a mix of horror, comedy and buddy cop genres, but it works well. You do not come to see this movie for its plot, but for Nicolas Cage in one of his best roles. Hoult and Awkwafina make a tremendous new bestie couple who complement each other like Van and Helsing.

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