Renfield (2023)
April 17, 2023 10:14 AM - Subscribe

Having grown sick and tired of his centuries as a lackey for Dracula (Nicolas Cage), Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) finds a new lease on life--and maybe even redemption--when he comes into the orbit of feisty, perennially angry traffic cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina).

Also starring Ben Schwartz, Shohreh Aghdashloo, William Ragsdale, Adrian Martinez, Jenna Kanell, Bess Rous, James Moses Black, Caroline Williams, Camille Chen, Joshua Mikel, Derek Russo, Dave Davis.

Directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie, The Tomorrow War). Written by Ryan Ridley, based on a screen story by Robert Kirkman (who also co-produced). Music composed by Marco Beltrami.

60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now playing in theaters. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This was really funny and extremely bloody, although in a ridiculous way, rather than a traumatizing one.

We enjoyed every bit of and laughed out loud, often. It does seem like some good stuff got left on the cutting room floor (maybe a musical number, it looks like, from stills in the credits?), so there may yet be a better version.

It is not at all deep or earth-shattering, but if you are aware of the general premise and cast and this sounds fun to you, you will likely have a blast.

Bonus points if you enjoy over-the-top comedic gore, because this has buckets of the stuff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:17 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]

We saw this on Thursday and it was delightful. I adored Nick Cage as Dracula, it was the perfect role for him at this point. Seriously, I found it a very, very funny movie and enjoyed the whole thing. Also, can I get a round of applause for a return to the rational runtime on a movie. 90 minute movies are a blessing.
posted by teleri025 at 10:19 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]

Nicholas Hoult is also delightful, essentially recreating the stammering charms of a Hugh Grant performance, ca. 1996 with head crushing and arm-ripping.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:20 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]

I see that the first-weekend box office on this one has been pretty disappointing, in spite of what seemed to me to be an effective set of trailers and online marketing/hype. It occurs to me that this might be the mainstream comedy audience's first exposure to Nicolas Cage in a while; Although he's been steadily building back his rep as an actor among horror and arthouse fans for the last few years, I wonder if that awareness has trickled down to mainstream moviegoers at all, or if they still think of him as the National Treasure guy who now makes low budget direct-to-video thrillers.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:29 PM on April 17

The first trailer was a dud, though. The second one worked a lot better (in that it actually made me consider seeing it), but of course the audience for "empower yourself against your bad boss" movies and "buckets of blood" movies maybe isn't infinite. And, well, dude eats flies.
posted by praemunire at 1:13 PM on April 17

Also, I just...could never see Nicolas Cage in anything ever again and it would be just fine. I don't necessarily hate him but I aggressively don't care, and he's never in a non-in-your-face role.
posted by praemunire at 1:14 PM on April 17

I feel like in this movie, Cage sort of knows that "Nic Cage is Dracula!" is the joke, so he's not half as over-the-top as he could have gotten away with. He knows when him simply being there as Dracula is funny enough, and he doesn't ruin that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:51 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]

Well, I mean, there's this. No more room left at the top!!!
posted by praemunire at 3:05 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]

There was a scene in the movie that I kept expecting to pan out in the end, but nothing ever became of it. In the baddies' lair in one early scene, there seemed to be some action going on in silhouette behind a screen — somebody on a gurney, a woman back there with the person. Did I hallucinate that?

Anyway, we went in as huge fans of over-the-top Nicolas Cage as well as recent fans of Nicholas Hoult thanks to The Great, and weren't disappointed.
posted by emelenjr at 6:38 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]

...90 minute movies are a blessing.

Prepare for the 3.5 hour Director's Cut, coming soon to BluRay.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:49 AM on April 18

There was some observable gear-grinding going on to get to that brisk 90 minute runtime. Plus, the musical number the credits seem to hint at, plus a few things that felt like shreds of abandoned sideplots. There could definitely be a 105-115 minute version somewhere.

I'm always saying about movies of that length that they'd work better at 85-95 minutes. It'd be interesting to get a case where they did that and we could watch the longer version to see if they made the right call.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:10 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]

Can we also talk about how Shohreh Aghdashloo is a world treasure? Every time I hear that golden voice, I am hypnotized.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:11 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]

Did she cuss?
posted by whuppy at 5:23 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]

There was a scene in the movie that I kept expecting to pan out in the end, but nothing ever became of it. In the baddies' lair in one early scene, there seemed to be some action going on in silhouette behind a screen — somebody on a gurney, a woman back there with the person. Did I hallucinate that?

No, my first thought was there was going to be a surprise Frankenstein or werewolf element since the name and all of the wolf imagery. But apparently that was just a set up to explain why there would all these wonderful weapons and so forth in one room.

But damn that was so much fun. But I cracked up when after the movie one of the people I was with referred to it as wholesome. I was like "Dude got impaled on a disembodied ARM!"

But I seriously need 1 the waffles/yolo poster for my kitchen 2 those sheets!
posted by miss-lapin at 6:56 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]

Wow, those were indeed buckets of blood. Might be more gore than Violent Night and Cocaine Bear combined. Good casting (that little wave Renfield gives Rebecca as he drops down onto the pile of bodies!). Could've used a little more variety in the jokes.

(I think we were just meant to think that there was some torture going on back there, to show how terrifying the mom was.)
posted by praemunire at 8:50 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]

This was really entertaining.

In the scene at Renfield's apartment, Dracula's sarcastic reactions to Renfield's lies had me howling.

All the actors were great. Nic Cage was fantastic.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:26 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]

Yeah, that was a lot of fun.
posted by gaspode at 10:59 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed it and I was a huge fan of the classic draco touches they gave Nic Cage.
posted by drezdn at 6:10 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

I don't enjoy gore really, but I still had such a blast with this movie. I feel like it might have a chance as a cult classic?

One thing I loved was that everyone knew who Dracula was. No explanation given or needed: he's Count Dracula, duh.
posted by meese at 8:48 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]

I just watched the video and reran the ending credits.
The disclaimer that "No animals were harmed in the making of this film" was missing....
Blah blah-blah blah!
posted by TrishaU at 11:13 AM on September 13

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