Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?

For those who did not get the mail about the movie Renfield, you sure should know about the character Renfield. Yes, Dracula’s lackey is finally stepping out of his ‘boss’s shadow and getting his one main character moment (or rather movie)!

Renfield releases today, April 14, 2023. For those undecided on whether you should be watching this movie, particularly in theatres, Renfield’s early reviews are out, which might help you make a decision you will be at peace with. 

Renfield has received a 62% Rotten Tomatoes rating, with critics being split about its balance of genres and the effectiveness of the story and themes. While wholeheartedly praising Nicolas Cage for his performance as Dracula, though the rest didn’t match up.

Let’s go into detail!

1. Renfield is an Unbalanced Mix of Gore, Action, and Comedy

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
A scene from Renfield

Renfield is a blend of gory horror, violent action, and comedy. However, criticism about genre blending is out and about. Critics feel that the horror and wit do not match up to the action in the movie, and thus Renfield distracts itself from its primary genre.

Universal has found the perfect genres for Renfield; however, the movie forgets to focus on its horror and comedy enough so that it paces with its action. Several scenes without Dracula, too, have a felt absence of horror. This leaves us with an action film that has only parts of horror and comedy, but it is not what is expected of Renfield.

However, its action and horror mix provides humor, making it a very entertaining watch.

2. The Movie does not Match up to Dracula

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
Dracula and Renfield in the movie

Nicolas Cage as Dracula in Renfield is very campy and perfect, but the other characters and cast do not match up. The story exaggerates Dracula’s characteristics well but does not delve deep enough into its story and characters to stay true enough to its genre.

Nicolas Cage is finally Dracula, a perfect Dracula (matching up to all our expectations), with all the humorous exaggeration we needed. However, the characteristics of the rest of the characters are not as focused upon to leave their performances comparable to that of the Oscar winner, including that of Nicholas Hoult’s Renfield. 

3. Nicolas Cage as Dracula is Perfect

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
Nicolas Cage as Dracula in Renfield

Nicolas Cage as Dracula is perfect, and that is one universally agreed fact about Renfield. His performance is the most praised of the movie and has received widespread critical acclaim. This is also the most entertaining element of the film for many. 

Renfield’s Dracula is perfectly exaggerated, and Cage goes above and beyond to give the audience what exactly they need and expect of Dracula. Several critics consider his performance to be the one that saves the movie and presents the utmost entertainment, even when the story and genre balance fail.

Cage has lived as the Lord of Death in Renfield, and his intense act is a guaranteed thrill in the movie.

4. The Lack in Story Might Decrease the Fun

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
A scene from the movie Renfield

Renfield’s plot and depth have been prioritized less than its action and gore. The story undermines the potential of the movie, its cast, and its themes, as it does not have much deep to offer at its essence.  

The movie lacks in its plot and story-telling capabilities. However, with little to offer at the base, the film’s effectiveness is reduced. According to some critics, even Cage’s performance and the rest of the gritty action and fun cannot make up for its narrative shortcomings.

Critics have mixed reviews about how well the movie will fare with a hollow quality to its plot. In the film, Dracula’s sidekick, R. M. Renfield, finally realizes he is in a toxic relationship with his ‘boss,’ abuse, dominance, and gaslighting common. Renfield strives to become a better person and move out of Dracula’s control and tries to save innocent lives by disobeying the latter and trying to fight corruption.

However, the movie’s many elements feel packed to the brim without much at its foundation. 

5. Renfield’s Psychological Themes Don’t Work with the Movie

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
Renfield gaining control over his boss, Dracula

Renfield focuses on psychological themes like toxic relationships, narcissistic superiors, and independence. However, critics are split about whether the movie is able to turn Dracula into a rejected lover and narcissistic superior.   

In the movie, Renfield realizes that he has been in a toxic, co-dependent relationship for centuries and that his boss has been gaslighting him and taking undue advantage. He joins a support group and realizes that he can lead an independent life of goodness and purpose if he can throw off the control Dracula has over him.

The film’s ninety-minute tale deals with these themes as Renfield recognizes how Dracula abuses his power and how narcissistic he is. These themes are prominent in today’s world that places great importance on psychological health in personal and professional lives. It is precisely why Renfield’s exploitative situation dawns on him after centuries. 

Renfield Movie Early Reviews: Is it worth the watch?
Nicholas Hoult as Renfield

However, critics support and disagree with how the movie has delved into these topics, as several feel that the movie is ineffective in portraying Dracula as all he is accused of being. There was great opportunity in these themes, but the film’s psychological elements feel ‘lazy.’ Some think that the movie, in all its comedy, feels unbalanced by taking itself seriously regarding these themes.

Nonetheless, some critics commend its psychological themes stating that they give the movie some depth and allow the characters to leave a mark on the audience. 

Stay tuned to Cine Dope for the latest updates on Renfield!

6. About Renfield

Renfield is an upcoming American horror comedy film directed by Chris McKay from a screenplay by Ryan Ridley, based on an original idea by Robert Kirkman featuring characters from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.

The film stars Nicholas Hoult as the title character, alongside Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula, with Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, and Adrian Martinez in supporting roles.

Renfield will have its world premiere at the Overlook Film Festival on March 30, 2023, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on April 14, 2023, by Universal Pictures.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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