Rent Renfield (2023)

3.3 of 5 from 338 ratings
1h 29min
Rent Renfield Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Nicholas Hoult stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss: Dracula (Nicolas Cage). For centuries, Renfield has slavishly served Dracula by procuring his master’s prey and doing his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, Renfield is ready to look for a new life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness, if only he can figure out how to end the toxic, codependent relationship...
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
David Alpert, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst, Robert Kirkman, Chris McKay
Writers:
Ryan Ridley, Robert Kirkman, Ava Tramer
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
BBFC:
Release Date:
17/07/2023
Run Time:
89 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, French, German, Italian
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes, Alternate Takes, Dracula UnCaged... and more!
BBFC:
Release Date:
17/07/2023
Run Time:
93 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1, German DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1, Italian DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1
Subtitles:
Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, French, German, Italian
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes, Alternate Takes, Dracula UnCaged... and more!

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Reviews (3) of Renfield

Great fun - Renfield review by sb

Spoiler Alert
25/07/2023

FILM & REVIEW I know the expression Expectations are Low is an oft used one on here but sometimes some thing will suprise you as it’s much better than expected. Houston plays Renfield - Dracula’s long suffering gofer - who takes to attending self-help meeting where people talk about being in a toxic relationship or I live with a monster. You have no idea Renfield ruefully remarks to himself. The reason he is there is Dracula is recovering from a previous encounter with the church so needs victims brought to him and Renfield reasons if he can bring the people causing the self help group misery then so much the better. This however brings him into the orbit of the Lobo’s New Orleans major drug gang who have most the cops on the payroll except for Rebecca (Awkafina). Dracula who is much better now decides rather than merely feed off humanity he wants to dominate it and will use the Lobo’s formidable matriarch (Aghdashloo) to achieve this. The whole thing is huge fun - Hoult very good as he begins to realise he can use all the self help platitudes of the group to free himself with fine support from Akwafina as the bad ass cop and Aghashloo as the take no prisoners gangster . Of course Cage as Dracula dialls it all the way up but can tone it down when required and the whole thing is soaked in comedy gore as bad guys are beheaded, disembodied and generally torn to bits. Subtle it is not but rattles along at full pace for its 90 mins - 4/5

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Unlike this Dracula this film somehow lacks confidence... - Renfield review by DS

Spoiler Alert
10/08/2023

Nicolas Cage as Dracula is exactly how you imagine it. Over-the-top more evil-Nicolas-Cage than the Lord of Evil but somehow very entertaining rather than grating. It is certainly not just any actor who can do this.

Pair this Dracula with a foil played by the ever-reliable and consistent Nicholas Hoult jumping right back in where Warm Bodies left off back in 2013 and if nothing else you will have a watchable film. Make the run time a tad over 90 minutes and you have a good formula.

Awkwafina plays a major role in an extremely similar level to everything I have so far seen her in, not necessarily a bad thing in the circumstances, but as her career progresses it would be interesting to see her branch out. Interestingly enough not a hint of a romantic subplot in the story whereas most films of this type tend to dump one. Her human foil is Ben Schwartz playing Teddy Lobo the master criminal’s slightly less ‘masterly’ son and he gives a good reliable Ben Schwartz display. So the main characters are solid, planted, and do not take anything away from the film.

The film is silly, this being no revelation, and so gory that there is no shock value as the violence is definitely Tom and Jerry level. Normally I am not a big fan of non-stop violent action that always seems to outstay its welcome but here the kinetic action whilst silly and defying any, even perfunctory, logic just about held together for me.

Whilst the acting and silliness are okay in this type of film it is difficult to figure out what the makers are trying to say. Clearly, the very small underlying message is toxic relationships but that, like everything here, is played entirely for laughs. The horror side of it is truly violently gory and death-filled but the makers lose their nerve and everything seems to get tied up too conveniently, and more important happily, which is disappointing.

Plot holes? There are plenty but perhaps pointing them out is churlish. It did seem strange that the writers, Robert Kirman amongst them, used the footage from 1931s Dracula and seemed willing to follow the rules set down by Browning’s kick-starter of this filmatic lore, but near the end, the rules are thrown out to suit the ‘happy’ ending. A more nihilistic finish might have been better but maybe less audience pleasing.

Nit-picking points aside Renfield is a scenery-chewing, blood-fuelled, romp through an imagined relationship of Dracula and Renfield in the modern world that is not derailed by being too long and out-staying its welcome to become tedious. I have a feeling the comedic non-logical take on it this subject might be the only way to approach this topic nowadays.

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Awful - Renfield review by MB

Spoiler Alert
11/02/2024

Plot was almost non existent, actors and acting were unappealing, apart from the sympathetic leader of the self help group, and lots of graphic, pointless violence. The violence isn't my thing which is why I thought I'd be fine with a 15 film, apparently not. I watched it with my 19 year old son, we turned off 15 minutes before the end because we knew where it was going and neither of us cared enough to see....

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Renfield review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

I’m sure that the mere utterance of “Starring Nicholas Cage is Dracula” will be enough of a selling point for Renfield. To the film’s credit, it uses Cage precisely as you’d expect for such a role. He camps it up and has a lot of fun playing a monster who seems to get giddy and sexual with every throat he sinks his fangs into. That’s the reason to come. The reason to stay is for a surprisingly engaging tale of toxic relationships and the over-the-top violence weaving this story.

At the film's heart is Renfield (Nicolas Hoult), the assistant Dracula with only known servitude to the legendary vampire. Having been with Dracula for many years (apparently the same timeline as the 1930s Dracula movie, if we’re to believe the opening), Renfield has started to doubt this lifestyle. Sure, he’s enjoyed a life where he can eat bugs and become a violent murder machine, never having to worry about protection or money. But time passes, and the servant soon realizes there may be more to life than bringing dead bodies to Dracula. Maybe he needs to become more independent.

Renfield’s quest for self-confidence takes him to some strange places in his new city setting. He hooks up with a toxic relationship group and does his best to try to convey his situation. While he listens to the plight of others, he finds toxic people who seemingly deserve to be hauled back to Dracula. He later connects with the struggling cop, Rebecca (Awkwafina), who is trying to stop the mafia from controlling the city. When Dracula hooks up with the mob, they have a common enemy, and an alliance forms. With Renfield’s ability to rip off limbs and Rebecca’s aggressive attitude, they might just clean up this city from the scourge of corrupt cops, deadly gangsters, and an even deadlier vampire.

What makes Renfield work is its pitch-shifting between a meaningful tale of someone trying to get out of an abusive relationship and having brutal fun with the setting and concept. It’s a very knowing film in terms of how it is staged. Nearly every scene has some sharp color to it, be it the oddly-green gym location or the neon-drenched Louisiana restaurant. Every moment of self-realization is treated with an earnest desire to change, albeit through the film’s tongue-in-cheek nature. Every action scene is an over-the-top bonanza of ludicrous violence. Watching Renfield chop off limbs, break bones, and stab people with removed limbs is a darkly hilarious sight to behold.

The best personification of the film can be felt through Ben Schwartz playing the lead mob enforcer. He’s an absurd man with violent urges and tries to prove himself to his vicious mob mom, getting too excited for every encounter. It makes his meeting with Dracula incredibly funny, for Ben admits he works for an evil group of people. He’s aware of his role and embraces every bit of its weirdness. At the same time, this film also has moments of shock and heart, especially when Renfield watches helplessly and feels compelled to stay under Dracula’s roof. It makes his eventual turn all the more earned and exciting. It’s also incredibly hilarious that Renfield has been thinking for a long time about how exactly to kill Dracula.

Renfield doesn’t always mesh well with the action, drama, and comedy, but plenty of scenes gel so well it’s worth watching. If nothing else, the brazen brutality had me laughing hard at how Hoult looks almost innocent as he gores hitmen in front of Awkwafina. Paced at 90 minutes, it’s a brisk bit of ridiculous vampire comedy that does a decent job satisfying that urge to poke fun at the monster who pokes necks.

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