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Movie review: Renfield

Movie review: Renfield

Renfield, a modern retelling of the classic monster tale, features Nicholas Hoult as the titular character, Dracula’s loyal servant who has been forced to do his master’s bidding for centuries.

Directed by Emmy winner Chris McKay and written by Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible) and Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty), the film boasts an impressive cast including Golden Globe winner Awkwafina, Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, and Brandon Scott Jones.

Hoult’s Renfield is a tortured aide to the narcissistic and exploitative Dracula, played by Nicolas Cage. After years of servitude, Renfield begins to question his existence and wonders if there is a life outside of his master’s shadow. He becomes determined to end his co-dependency.

Renfield’s life takes a turn when he meets Rebecca, a principled New Orleans cop played by Awkwafina. Rebecca is on a mission to bring down the city’s most powerful crime family led by Bellafrancesca Lobo (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and her son Tedward (Ben Schwartz). Inspired by Rebecca’s determination to stand up for what is right, Renfield begins to imagine a brighter future for himself.

The film’s storyline is a wildly inventive take on vampire mythology. The humour is well-timed and perfectly executed.

Hoult delivers an outstanding performance as the tortured Renfield, bringing depth and nuance to a character that could have easily been one-dimensional. Cage’s Dracula is brilliant and over-the-top in the best way possible, and his performance is one of the many highlights of this film.

The supporting cast also delivers standout performances. Awkwafina is excellent as the tough but principled cop, and Aghdashloo is menacing as the leader of the powerful crime family. Ben Schwartz is great as the clueless Tedward, and Adrian Martinez and Brandon Scott Jones provide comedic relief at times.

Director Chris McKay expertly balances the film’s comedic and action elements, resulting in an enjoyable viewing experience. The film’s visuals are stunning, and the production design is top-notch. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring an eclectic mix of songs that perfectly complement the film’s tone.

Overall, Renfield is a highly entertaining film that breathes new life into the classic monster tale. The film’s impressive cast, inventive storyline, and expertly executed humour make it a must-watch for fans of the genre. This movie is a worthy addition to the vampire mythology canon.

In cinemas 14 April 2023

Genre:  Horror Comedy 

Cast:  Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez and Shohreh Aghdashloo

Director: Chris McKay

Screenplay By:  Ryan Ridley, based on an original idea by Robert Kirkman 

Producers:  Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst, Chris McKay

Executive Producer:  Samantha Nisenboim


Clare Petra Matthes

Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.

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