Director: Chris McKay

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz

Year: 2023

Renfield is one of those movies that’s good until it isn’t.  It starts strong, has a cool premise, has a solid main idea, I bet it sounded really awesome on paper, it obviously caught our attention …and then the wheels fall off.  I usually blame that on the director, since someone is supposed to be keeping everything from going haywire, and it seems like McKay wasn’t up to the task; after all, his previous movies are only The Lego Batman Movie and The Tomorrow War, neither of which were very good.  So, mark Renfield up as another clever concept that didn’t have the talent behind it to become anything beyond that.

We all know about Dracula, the legendary vampire, the Prince of Darkness, but little is known about his key assistant, Renfield.  Dracula relies on his servant for feedings, lodging, general protection, and for navigating the ever-changing world; without Renfield his reign of terror would have ended long ago.  Fast forward to modern day, and the Count’s trusty sidekick is starting to regret his choice of occupation, and wonder how he can leave the world of corpse delivery, without becoming one himself.

Again, it’s a stellar story idea; Dracula in the modern world, Renfield his sad subject, the powers they share, the visions they don’t, and the trailer showed us some very funny scenes at an AA-style meeting for victims of narcissists that convinced us that this film would be crafty and cool.  Well, those scenes might be the only good parts of the film, as the rest crashes and burns under the weight of a big, useless, goofy script that basically just ruined the whole thing.  Give us Renfield & Dracula, keep Aquafina and a ridiculous crime family; this movie would have been greatly served by being so much simpler.  Instead, it’s also a high-speed action flick and a blood-soaked gore fest; pick a genre already!  Doing too much with too little talent was the downfall of a keen concept, and Renfield founders soon after it sets sail.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils