Review by John M. Delia, Jr

There have been many films about the prince of darkness, some funny and others filled with horror and thrills. This one goes even further and finds ways to recognize the many famous appearances the count made over the years, such as the Nosferatu, Dracula, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to name a few. You will see these references throughout the narrative, with scenes presented in black and white during the credits, reference to directors and cast members from the other renditions, plus the makeup and presentation of the characters throughout.

(from left) Dracula (Nicolas Cage) and Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay.

After years and years of dedication and support Robert Montague Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), Dracula’s henchman, wants to try and find a way out of his obligation to Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage), the dark prince. After many support groups and years of trying to attempt to go noble by feeding his master bad people rather than good, has begun to toll on Renfield. Also because now Dracula has demanded that Renfield bring him more pure victims.

On the streets of New Orleans, crime has taken over the city. With the Lobo’s Crime family in control things have gone a little heywire. The family is led by Bellafrancesca Lobo (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and with help from her son Tedward Lobo (Ben Schwartz) he is making sure the business runs well throughout the city.

Nicholas Hoult as Renfield in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay.

Having a vendetta against the Lobo’s and wanting to clean up the crime issues going on, in memory of her deceased father (former police officer), Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina) police officer, is out to do anything to stop this family’s (Lobo’s) success. With help from her sister, Kate Quincy (Camille Chen) FBI Agent, and her partner Chris Marcos (Adian Martinez), Rebecca hopes to finally make a stop to the corruption in this town.

Using his vision, director Chris Mckay, brings a version of this famous villain that will remind us of the many portrayals this evil creature has given us over the years. By presenting the many “Easter eggs” throughout, gives us a reminder of this long lasting tradition this original horror monster has been on the silver screen. With Chris including excellent make-up and special effects, he develops more super villain type abilities that show how powerful these wicked beings can be. Along with the magnificent performance by both Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult, it turns this fun and horrific story into something special.

(from left) Dracula (Nicolas Cage) and Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay.

This bizarre entertaining motion picture brings an old tale into the twentieth-first century, with much more bangs and whistle to grab your attention. It will keep you entertained the whole time making you wonder what will happen next and will our heroes make it through these dangerous events.

Final Comment: I based my grade on the remarkable performance from the cast, hilarious storyline, and magnificent special effects.

Stars 4 out of 5

Additional Film Information

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Brandon Scott Jones, Camille Chen, and Adrian Martinez.
Directed by:  Chris McKay
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
MPAA Rating: Rated R for bloody violence, some gore, language throughout and some drug use.
Running Time:  1 hour and 33 minutes.
Release Date:  April 14, 2023
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release In: Dolby Digital, and Standard.

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