By Kelas Lloyd

It’s hard finding good help. It’s even harder finding a good boss. Renfield, directed by Chris McKay, screenplay by Ryan Ridley, is based on an idea from The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman. In it, Nicholas Hoult‘s Renfield has been blessed with immortal life and limited powers, in exchange for eternal servitude to Dracula. It’s not the worst contract anyone’s signed – after all, some people worked with Lydia Tàr. But the lack of career advancement, compulsory heavy codependency, and a complicated chore list (which includes procuring Dracula’s meals) are wearing Renfield thin. The final trailer for the film, released this week, finds Renfield ready to step out and live a life of his own.

Dracula, played by Nicolas Cage, sees this as a betrayal and pledges to make Renfield suffer. If I was Dracula I would just eat Renfield and get a new servant, but maybe this is why I’m not an immortal lord of darkness.


Renfield teams up with a cop played by Awkwafina (The Farewell, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings) to try to fight back and take Dracula down in this upcoming campy horror-comedy movie from Skybound Entertainment.

It’s clear that Cage is set to have the time of his life vamping about for laughs. Ben Schwartz (Sonic, The Afterparty), Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Focus) and the ever-magnificent Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Saddam, House of Sand and Fog) also look like they’re having fun.

The premise seems threadbare, but when you have Nicolas Cage running around in a cape with a silly accent you don’t need the most complicated plot. I’m left hesitant about the team up between Hoult’s Renfield and Awkwafina’s police officer by the trailer, though. The dynamic seems listless, with one-liners adjacent to heavy violence that feel jarring but hopefully will flow more smoothly in context. It’s hard to judge a movie by trailers alone, and the rest of the jokes land well. Renfield looks like it’s accomplishing exactly what it means to – being an irreverent, silly, bloody, and very different take on Dracula.

Renfield releases in theaters April 14th, 2023.


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