Renfield, the servant to the infamous Count Dracula, after decades of service, decides to break free and become a better person.
Spoiler Level: Mild
In the early 20th century, Robert Montague Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) was an English property lawyer who is enticed away from his family with the promises of power and fortune by the vampire, Count Dracula (Nicholas Cage). After decades of doing his master’s bidding and being given a portion of Dracula’s powers by eating and thereby absorbing the lifeforce of insects, Renfield stumbles upon a 12-step program group for victims of abusive co-dependent relationships where he sympathizes with what they are going through. Deciding to be a better person, he makes the group’s abusers food for his master. This new path leads him to officer Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina) who he begins to develop feelings for, it also drops him smack dab in the middle of a mob war and puts him at odds with Dracula. Can Renfield become a hero and break free from his abusive master without losing Rebecca or any of his newfound friends? Watch and find out!
Unfortunately for me, this was a case where my expectations and anticipation of the movie far outweighed the quality of the production. For many years, the book Dracula by Bram Stoker was one of my favorite novels and I absolutely love the old classic universal monster movies about the character. So, the very idea of a movie based around Renfield and his journey from deranged servant to hero was very exciting. The film just doesn’t live up to its very potential and instead devolves into cliché and over the top visual gore. Although the dialogue has its moments, especially with Renfield’s character, the script in general is inconsistent and uneven. The storyline is interesting, but it lacks any uniqueness or imagination. The production value was good, but this is not a movie for the faint of heart. This action-comedy uses an abundance of blood, guts, and gore to the point where it crosses the line into absurdity and adds to the over-the-top comedic quality of the film. I did enjoy the recreation of the black and white scenes from the old Universal Dracula movie using Cage and Hoult in place of the original actors.
The saving grace of the film is the performances with Nicholas Hoult being wonderful as Renfield. He demonstrates both comedic timing and dramatic depth. Awkafina is a foul mouthed and aggressive cop, she is also not your typical leading lady, and I applaud the movie for its diverse casting, going against type. I am divided on my feelings towards Nicholas Cage’s turn as the Count. He was his normal over the top self, which is what this movie called for, but lacked the nuances that could have made his performance less Nicholas Cage-ish and more Dracula-ish. In general, the film wasn’t bad and was mildly entertaining (I did chuckle at a few of the jokes) it just wasn’t what it could have been and missed so many amazing opportunities to be something amazing.
Mildly funny with over the top action sequences and lots of gore, but missed out on its full potential by not fully exploring the characters or creating a more unique and interesting story.
Renfield: Sucks To Be You!
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 8/108/10