“Renfield” Review: A Handful of Nuns and a Busload of Cheerleaders

“Renfield” ventures into a semi-uncharted territory by combining horror and goofball comedy, and does it with a great result. This unique experiment delivers an entertaining and hilarious cinematic experience with graphic violence and cartoonish action, which keeps you choking on your movie snack.

Right from the opening scene, a classic homage to the 1931 film “Dracula,” it becomes clear that the filmmakers are deeply knowledgeable and in love with their source material and its previous adaptations. The attention to detail and cinematic craftsmanship shine throughout the movie. One cannot help but wish that director-cinephile Chris McKay would get more opportunities like this, instead of making one Lego movie after another.

One of „Renfield’s” greatest strengths lies in its intelligent exploration of toxic relationships, psychology, and history. According to our story, Renfield lives to fulfill his master Dracula’s twisted wishes, no matter how depraved they may be. And have no doubt, his wishes are crazy “Renfield, bring me innocent victims! I want a handful of nuns, a busload of cheerleaders.”

Completely understandable that after centuries of servitude, Renfield yearns for a life outside the grasp of The Prince of Darkness. However, breaking free from their toxic co-dependency is not easy. “Thankfully” he finds a self-help group that might be able to equip him with the necessary tools.


Source: IMDB

“Renfield” delivers a highly relevant story that resonates with those who have experienced toxic or narcissistic individuals in their workplace or personal lives. The importance of reclaiming our power, setting boundaries, and knowing our self-worth are themes that can strike a chord with many of us.

With a cast of actors with incredibly sharp comedic timing, except for Awkwafina, the film hits the mark in delivering laughs and thrills. Nicolas Cage takes on the role of Dracula, reportedly evoking his father’s Mid-Atlantic accent and tone of voice. Cage shines in the few scenes he is given, showcasing his versatility and commitment to the craft. Nicholas Hoult proves to be a perfect fit for the film too, with his mysterious and charming yet evilish persona. Having demonstrated his comedic timing in previous projects such as Hulu’s „The Great” Hoult brings his A-game to “Renfield.”

The timing of the comedic moments, action scenes, and stunts is brilliant. The choreography is top-notch, delivering both laughs and thrills. (However, stabbing someone with a detached arm might not be something you should try at home.) The make-up and visual effects departments deserve special recognition too. While the film excels in many aspects, the editing occasionally feels a bit clumsy. Thankfully this minor flaw does not overshadow the overall enjoyment and entertainment value of the movie.

In conclusion, “Renfield” successfully merges horror and goofball comedy to deliver an entertaining and engaging cinematic experience. With its talented cast, hyper-creative moments of comedy, and expertly choreographed action scenes, the film keeps audiences hooked from start to finish. An ideal watch for the summer.

„Renfield” streams on Peacock and is available on Apple TV and Prime Video.

~ by Dora Endre ~