“Renfield” (2023)

This movie sucked.

Although it may be an easy joke to describe a vampire movie as “sucking,” it is an accurate description of how it drains the fun out of every interesting element. The only reason to watch “Renfield” is Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Dracula. His lunacy and persona fit the character perfectly, creating a Dracula unlike any we have seen before. This aspect of the movie is worth 1.8 out of 2 stars.

However, “Renfield” lacks a clear direction. It tries to incorporate comedy, but it only works in a few scenes, especially when Cage is involved. My dislike for Awkwafina grows with each role she plays. Except for “The Farewell,” I have never enjoyed her performances. She is not funny, and it is clear that she did not understand the type of movie she was in. The movie’s comedy relies heavily on dialogue, with few opportunities for physical humour. Awkwafina’s attempts at channelling Charlie Chaplin’s type of physical comedy, such as the walking away scene, come off as cringy.

Awkwafina is not the only thing that feels out of place. The action scenes are impressive but feel disconnected from the overall vibe of the movie. It feels a bit like a John Wick movie but lacks the necessary appeal to support it.

Although Nicholas Hoult is a talented actor, this role was not his best. He did not demonstrate the ability to take on this type of comedy, and someone with better comedic timing and improvisation skills would have done better.

As the director of “Lego Batman” and “Robot Chickens,” I expected more from Chris McKay. He could have given the movie a more unconventional approach. However, he did get one thing right, which was casting Cage and letting him run wild with the role. I wish there was less action and more comedy, and that the movie had explored Renfield’s role and toxic relationship with Dracula in more depth, as that is where the true movie lies.

Overall, “Renfield” is a disappointing movie lacking direction and coherence. The only saving grace is Nicolas Cage’s performance. If you are a fan of Cage or vampire movies, it is worth watching for his performance alone.

Have you seen this movie? What did you think of it?

What is your favourite cinematic portrayal of a vampire?




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