‘Renfield’ goes for the double jugular, delivers horror and humour in equal doses
Vampire films are usually in a genre of their own but new release Renfield shakes things up and ensures there are as many gags as there are splashes of gore.
Starring Nicholas Cage as Dracula, and Nicholas Hoult as his servant, the titular Renfield, the humour and action are in your face from the get-go.
The film starts with a nod to a Count Dracula of old – the old-school one we’re used to seeing in his German Expressionist form. Fast forward to more modern times and Dracula is looking better than ever – except when he runs out of youthful blood, which is Renfield’s job to obtain.
Realising he is in an abusive relationship of sorts, Renfield decides to attend an AA session – the AA, he says, standing for Assholes Anonymous and the asshole he’s wanting out of his life being his bloodthirsty boss. Note, everyone else in the sessions appears to be in abusive relationships of the traditional kind, and it’s only when Dracula makes a personal visit to one of the sessions that they realise Renfield is in an abusive relationship of a very different kind.
Despite its obvious horror themes, Renfield is very much a fun movie, providing more laughs than you’d expect, even from a horror-slash-comedy.
Nicolas Cage owns that role, making it absolutely his and not letting you think once of the greats that have played Dracula in the past. His sinister scowl showing chainsaw-sharp teeth, his dusty eyebrows, bloody jowls, all if it is brilliant in aesthetic.
In fact, all the cast are well-suited and share great on-screen chemistry, delivering plenty of quirks that make the film one cool ride.
Renfield is proof positive that rebooting a horror classic can be done with style, humour and integrity.
Antonino Tati & Annette McCubbin
‘Renfield’ is playing in cinemas now.
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