‘Renfield’ Movie Review: Horror, Humor, and Heart

Renfield Movie Review

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Renfield since I first saw the film’s trailer. It felt like a fun horror comedy that, while playing into its age-old characters, also put a new spin on things with more modern labels. For instance, labeling Renfield as codependent and identifying his relationship with Dracula as a toxic workplace relationship brings their story into the present day. The result is an entertaining, comical, and perhaps slightly more relatable story about Renfield and Dracula.

So what’s the story here? Evil doesn’t span eternity without a little help. And that help is Renfield, Dracula’s loyal servant, played by Nicholas Hoult. Renfield tends to the every need of history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula, played by Nicolas Cage. From procuring his food (blood) to running his errands and doing his every bidding, Renfield has been taking care of Dracula for centuries. But fast forward to the present day, and Renfield finds himself wanting more for his life, far from the shadow of his boss. His only challenge? He has to figure out how to end his codependency.

Renfield Movie Trailer

Renfield Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

With a run time of 1 hour and 33 minutes, Renfield is entertaining from start to finish. It’s over-the-top, but it’s meant to be. It almost feels like a bigger and grander episode of FX’s brilliant series What We Do In The Shadows (or the 2014 film of the same name (minus The Office-style commentary)), which has a similar storyline with different characters.

The film manages to squeeze in a lot of plot and character development in its short time. And with the stellar combo of Cage and Hoult, there are some great comedic moments that offer a fresh take on these familiar characters.

Renfield Movie
Photo Credit: Universal Studios


The script does a great job of setting up the characters and their motivations immediately, allowing you to dive right into the story without waiting for exposition. There’s also no shortage of action throughout as Renfield attempts to break free from Dracula’s hold over him.

The story moves quickly, and the dialogue is clever.  However, the script’s real success comes with its balance of horror, humor, and heart – all in equal measure.


Nicholas Hoult does an excellent job as Renfield. His innocence and wit endure him to the audience early on, which allows for his performance to stand out against the over-the-top, larger-than-life performance of Nicolas Cage as Dracula. 

Not to go off on a tangent here, but I’ve found Cage’s recent movie choices to be incredibly smart for his career. He’s showcasing his talent, especially in films like 2021’s Pig, and poking fun at himself, as in last year’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. It makes Cage’s work of late even more enjoyable to watch. He absolutely nails the character of Dracula.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Overall Thoughts

It’s a bloody, gory, and gruesome film, yet the clever humor and heart make it far more enjoyable than other horror comedies. And, most noteworthy, it’s just fun.

Additionally, the flick begs for not only a sequel, but I’d argue a franchise. Cage is just that good as Dracula. And I am here for it.

‘Renfield’ Movie Review

Grade: B+

Renfield 60-Second Movie Review

Note: FanBolt’s Featured Image is fan art created by FanBolt purely for the love of design and fan culture. (We’re movie and design nerds). The property and fandom inspire the artwork, and no infringement is/was intended. Renfield is the property of Universal Pictures.


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