Renfield It is the latest in a long line of attempts by Universal Pictures to rebrand its classic monsters. After the high profile bomb mummy In 2017, dashing any Universal Picture hope for an interconnected shared universe, the studio turned to stand-alone stories centered on Universal Monsters, allowing the filmmakers to attempt dramatic reimaginings. It was the first attempt, which was critically acclaimed and financially successful Invisible Man With Elisabeth Moss, come now Renfieldchoosing to focus on a classic Dracula supporting character and drop the franchise into an action comedy to mixed results.
Renfield It is directed by Chris McKay, whose previous credits include Lego Batman movie And Tomorrow’s war. The film stars Nicholas Hoult as the titular character alongside Nicholas Cage as Dracula, which is one of the best bits of dramatic acting in recent years. The film boasts a talented supporting cast that includes Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Adrienne Martinez, and Brandon Scott Jones, who do their best to elevate the film with a strong premise that leads to a lesser degree of similarity. An American Werewolf in London And more like a comic story revolving around Hell film.
Renfield: Dracula Retold
Although presented as a reimagining of Dracula, Renfield is a loose sequel to the original from Universal Pictures Dracula Set in 1931, it includes a remake of the iconic film with stars Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult replacing Bela Lugosi and Dwight Fry respectively. The story picks up in modern-day New Orleans, where Renfield (Holt) rethinks his 100-year relationship with Dracula (Cage) as familiar to him.
Renfield finally gets the courage to stand up to Dracula when he falls in love with traffic cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina), who is trying to take down the criminal organization that killed her chief police father. This leads to Renfield and Quincy’s words crossing over and Dracula allying with the criminals to get revenge on Renfield for abandoning him.
Believe it or not, this is Universal’s second major attempt at a Dracula relaunch in the past decade. The previous one was 2014 Untold Dracula Starring Luke Evans, which was intended to start a shared universe but was soon forgotten, Universal pivoted to mummy Being the beginning of a failed dark universe.
Interestingly Dracula intoleD ended with a post-credit scene for Dracula in the modern era. Although this excitement never led to anything, the present-day tone of Dracula seems to have stuck and captivated Universal Pictures enough to grow into a Renfield.
while Untold Dracula Try molding the character into a traditional superhero origin story inspired by Batman beginsAnd Renfield It’s heavily inspired by the self-aware humor of action movies like the MCU and beyond fast and angry films. Universal Pictures also has a second Dracula picture releasing in 2023 titled The last flight of Demeter.
Not fresh enough but not a rotting carcass either
The script for the film was written by Rick and Morty Writer Ryan Ridley from Story Idea by the walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman. Much of the film’s problems can be traced back to the script, particularly the addition of a subplot for audiences that was absent from the film’s marketing, instead choosing to focus on the Renfield/Dracula dynamic. The whole mob story feels like it’s there to generate action scenes. While the way the action scenes are accessed is questionable, the action itself is a blast. McKay enjoys showing how powerful vampire violence can be fully realized. Obscene gory anomalies with buckets of blood recall the vibrant blood of the Hammer Horror movies.
Renfield It has a convincing tone, but is ripped in many directions. Examining Dracula and Renfield through the lens of a toxic relationship in which one person in the dynamic literally feeds on others is a powerful and clever reworking of the original text for a modern setting. However, this element of the movie constantly fights with the mob subplot, which begins to overwhelm the movie.
This is not to say that the film is inconsistent in terms of degree. The movie sticks fully to the movie’s tone from the very beginning, so audiences know exactly what kind of movie this is from the get-go. The real issue comes from the jokes in this comedy that don’t land often. This is partly because vampire jokes in a modern setting have been done better in both movies and TV series, such as What do we do in the shadows?.
The other problem is that sometimes the movie has no jokes at all, instead falling back on characters calling out the absurdity of a scene, hoping it will be funny. Fortunately, the movie has talented comedian stars like Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz, here playing the spoiled heir to a criminal empire, who know how to deliver these kinds of storylines in the funniest way possible even if they don’t really have to work.
Nicolas Cage as Dracula makes Renfield worth it
Despite the issues with the script, Nicolas Cage is perfect as Dracula. He’s booked Renfield Shortly before Cage’s release An unbearable weight of huge talent, another late comeback performance by the actor. His Dracula perfectly captures the over-the-top nature of Legosi’s original performance, the comedy coming from juggling this method of acting with a modern setting versus the natural performance. Cage’s Dracula is funny, but his performance is also frightening. Cage could have used that same performance as Dracula in a more straightforward horror movie, and it would have worked as well.
The rest of the cast performs admirably, despite his best efforts, Nicholas Hoult ends up losing what is supposed to be his movie to Cage’s Dracula. Awkwafina continues to show her range as a performer and build a solid resume as one of the best and most reliable young stars. Special mention must be made of legendary artist Shahreh Aghdashloo, whose sheer presence elevates the one-note villain of the text into a captivating character.
World Beasts is still going strong
the next mummyUniversal Pictures knew they needed to accept bold creative offers to reimagine iconic movie monsters. The originals will always loom large over popular culture, so why not try something new? Sometimes this means transplanting them into new species. Renfield It is a unique presentation of the material, even if the text does not fully live up to its potential.
Still, it’s admirable that the studio allowed the filmmakers to move forward with this unconventional take on Dracula. In an age when superhero properties and films based on books are wary of altering material for fear of irritating their original audience, Universal’s desire to be priceless with its iconic monsters is refreshing. Renfield It shows just how diverse the world’s monsters are, and that there can still be life in this franchise as long as it’s filled with fresh blood.
Renfield It was released by Universal Pictures and will hit theaters on April 14, 2023.