The story of Dracula goes back to the Gothic of 1897.novel that inspired through every means imaginable. by chris mckay Renfield takes its own stab at the infamous tale of a monster and its familiar, but with a contemporary twist on the toxic relationship between Dracula and RM Renfield. Of course, there’s a lot of gore this time.
‘Renfield’ finds its main character searching for his own voice
Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) initially got into trouble when he thought he could improve the lives of his wife and daughter by getting involved in the real estate affairs of. However, this only leads to his own immortality, as he is forced to become a familiar to cater to his master’s every need.
Now in New Orleans, Renfield and Dracula take refuge in an abandoned hospital. The family member spends his free time attending support group meetings for codependent people seeking to break free from toxic relationships.
Renfield is inspired by the bravery of a police officer named Rebecca (Awkwafina), who is not afraid to take on the most dangerous crime family in the city. Together, the duo fight to save the world from the evil that lurks in the shadows as a never-ending reminder of their greatest traumas.
Destructive relationships and recovery of power
by ryan ridley Renfield the script doesn’t want to be just another Dracula story. Rather, he chooses to mix black comedy and horror to explore the confines of toxic and destructive relationships. Dracula is fairly framed as an extreme narcissist who constantly criticizes Renfield at every turn, creating a dynamic that’s actually not that different from the deadly problems of his fellow support group attendees. However, Renfield’s dilemma has a supernatural twist that poses a threat to the well-being of the entire world.
Renfield it doesn’t provide its main character with a sense of self-righteousness. He is an anti-hero who, in turn, uses his dark powers against criminals. The rules of the human world and the ones his master imposed on him are constantly at odds with each other, forcing him to make a choice, but there is no way to win, regardless of his decision. In a sense, Renfield is actually fighting his own poisoned moral compass rather than Dracula himself, which he must overcome before he has any hope of facing the great evil that holds sway over him.
The family member is not the only person dealing with trauma and complicated relationships. Rebecca ranks low on the police station totem pole, working DUI checkpoints in a corrupt city. However, she wants to follow in the footsteps of her father, who died protecting what she believed in, and make a difference. Meanwhile, the criminal organization that she stalks on the streets portrays her own cyclical nature between parents and children. In its center, Renfield it is about claiming one’s power from within and refusing to let others claim it as their own.
‘Renfield’ is a bloody good time
McKay and cinematographer Marco Beltrami bring style to Renfield, frequently using neon colors in his palette that contrast with the occasional return to iconic black and white Dracula imagery. The screen constantly vibrates with personality, unafraid to explore a playful side to what could have been much more serious in tone. However, it is never framed as dumb. The New Orleans location is a fun, but underused setting that could have served for more set pieces.
Fortunately, the dynamic between Hoult and Cage is in full force. Hoult brings a sense of humanity, something we’ve seen him do in other movies, like 2013’s Zombie Romance, warm bodies. However, this is a different performance that gives him a chance to bounce energy off Cage, who walks the fine line between threatening and camping. He is a master at gliding effortlessly between seriously dominating the screen and delivering physical comedy.
Unfortunately, not all comedy is worth watching. Renfield he finds his groove in his gleefully over-the-top vampire parody, painting the walls red. Ridley’s script doesn’t have the charm and wit that he wishes it had. Awkwafina brings her trademark schtick to the film, which intrudes on her drive.
Renfield infuses a new twist on the dynamic between Dracula and his familiar, packed with enough gore to please the dark one himself. It doesn’t all work, but it does deliver an enjoyable 93 minutes that pairs two talented artists in a much more nuanced way than other attempts at.
Renfield bites in theaters on April 14.