Looking for gore, comedy, and an over-the-top movie to check out this weekend? Renfield fits every one of those and adds in a piling heap of overacting, that fans are looking for.
Following the story of Renfield, Count Dracula’s familiar and servant, who after almost a century of service decides he wants to live his own life. With almost all of the same powers at Dracula, except the need to feed on humans, his whole life has been about making sure that his master has what he needs. Now, after sitting through some group counseling sessions, he realizes he’s been in a toxic relationship and wants to free himself from his narcissistic master. But it is never that easy, and once Dracula finds out – he has a fight for his life as well as that of others.
Nicholas Hoult takes on the role of Renfield, and it’s not his first time in the non-traditional horror genre. And while his character R in Warm Bodies was a bit more docile, you can see the more gentle side come through. However as Renfield comes into his own, Hoult seems to lean more into the unhinged characters he’s played like Emperor Peter in The Great. He goes quickly from a kind and sweet guy to a crazed bug-eating killer with an impressive body count. And even with all of that, his drastic change in character isn’t really the overacting that the audience can expect in the movie.
For years, there’s been a well-known joke that Nicolas Cage likes to overact in his roles. And it seems in Renfield, his depiction of Dracula is where he is happily leaning into this joke. With extreme motions, facial expressions, and even line delivery – Cage takes his overacting to the extreme. And really, if you were a centuries-old vampire who could have whatever you wanted, there’s a good chance you might just act that way. Does this hurt the movie at all? No, it just adds to the goofy and campy nature of the film and most likely will make fans love it more.
Renfield is full of overacting like the cast is completely committed to it as part of their roles. They knew going in that they would be creating a movie that would become a fan favorite for how campy and absurd the movie gets at times or would instantly hate the movie. It’s easy to pick a movie apart when the acting is bad, but when the actors know their characters are over the top, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a movie that is going to be worth every bit of the gore and overacting you’re expecting.
The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time, the number of special effects and stunts throughout the short 93-minute runtime is truly impressive. Leave the kids at home, grab some popcorn, and enjoy Renfield in theaters this weekend.
In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Nicolas Cage). Renfield is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his codependency.
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez
Directed by Chris McKay