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Renfield (2023)

Duration1h 33m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG, Denmark
Source of storyDerived, in its own way from the early Dracula films, they in turn derived from the book by Bram Stoker
DirectorChris McKay
Writers/ScriptRyan Ridley, Robert Kirkman
StarringNicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Shohreh Aghdashloo,
RatingsIMDb: 6.8/10 by 3,600 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 60% by 183 reviews. Review2view: 6/10

Summary: Renfield is a lawyer who had many years before been sent to see the count to deal with some estate problems. He had stayed, becoming the vampire’s familiar and doing his evil bidding, including obtaining human for food. Renfield has some superpowers which can be enhanced by him eating bugs. When he has brought Dracula to New Orleans he managed to join a therapy co-dependence group to try to get away. Meanwhile Rebecca Quincy is a New Orleans traffic cop, with ambitions to do more, particularly capturing members of the Lobo mafia clan. When she captures Teddy, one of the group, he is immediately released due to having the police chiefs in his pay. Renfield happens to be in a restaurant when mafia goons enter to kill Quincy, and in a noisy battle saves her life. They become sort of partners, against evil, since Count Dracula has also formed a partnership with Bellafrancesca, the boss of the Lobos. Who is going to win?

Content: No sex or nudity. Although we see a lot of drugs, no-one takes them. Many scenes of extreme violence with hand to hand combat and people literally having their limbs torn off, being decapitated and having their heads squashed. Blood spurts in torrents. Also a lot of extremely loud gunfire. A bit of group therapy when Renfield joins the co-dependence group. At one point Dracula is burnt by sunlight and takes ages to get his skin back. Also the count’s blood can heal and re-animate people, and Renfield gains his super strength by eating bugs.

A View: My wife and I went to see this film in Madrid thinking that it might be a riff on “What We Do in the Shadows”, which is wonderfully subtle comedy, this outing is anything but.  It seems to have been generally agreed that there was scope for something better, than the bloodfest we got, and if we were to get at all picky, why were the police not all over the murders and disappearances of people, that is except for Rebecca. So all in all not very comedic or terrifying if either of those options was intended and not clever enough to warrant the price of a cinema ticket.

Nicholas Hoult seems to have been one of the few child actors to make it successfully into the adult Hollywood world. Films he has been in, which have been reviewed on this site include The Menu, Mad Max 4: Fury Road and The Favourite.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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