In partnership with Universal
In Renfield, the world’s most famous vampire is the world’s worst boss. Nicholas Hoult plays the title character, R. M. Renfield, long-suffering servant of Nicolas Cage’s insatiable blood-sucking Dracula. They’ve been stuck in a toxic co-dependent relationship for decades, but now Renfield wants out. Ahead of its UK release in cinemas on April 14, here are five reasons to see this thrilling, hilarious and very bloody action-horror-comedy romp.
1. It’s laugh-out-loud funny
Renfield is directed by Chris McKay, who previously made The Lego Batman Movie, from a screenplay by Rick And Morty writer Ryan Ridley. These people really know how to bring the humour. Alongside Hoult and Cage – comedy dons both – it co-stars the hilarious Awkwafina as Rebecca Quincy, a no-nonsense traffic boss who helps Renfield to break away from Dracula. Meanwhile, the equally funny Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation, The Afterparty) plays a mob boss who sides with the vampire. With this lot on board, zingers fly like the dismembered limbs that Dracula is wont to feast on.
2. The action is top-notch
Based on an original idea by The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman, Renfield is a rip-roaring mix of comedy, horror and action. Big action. The laughs come thick and fast, but you’ll be kept on the edge of your seat by larger-than-life violence, eye-popping fight scenes and a steady supply of gore. At one point, Renfield tears off a man’s arms, then throws them into the chest cavity of another man – ouch. This film is not for the faint of heart: it’s R-rated, unashamedly full-on and outrageously entertaining.
3. Got a nightmare boss? You’ll relate
OK, so you haven’t ever been lackey to a vampire – who has? But if you’ve had an over-dependent and incessantly demanding line manager, you’ll feel for poor Renfield. When he says “I tend to his needs – care, feeding”, he is referring to the fact that he quite literally has to bring Dracula people to eat. It’s a bit like being dispatched to the canteen each day to fetch your boss’s lunch, only… well, a hell of a lot worse. So, it’s no wonder that Renfield wants to quit Dracula and start living life on his own terms.
4. Nicolas Cage goes all-in
Cage couldn’t give a small performance if he tried, but this is surely one of his biggest and most entertaining yet. “Some call me The Dark One. Others, the Lord Of Death. To most, I am Dracula,” he snarls as he makes his oh-so-dramatic entrance. It’s an iconic role that he really sinks his teeth into – quite literally at times – and he has the perfect foil in Hoult’s deliciously deadpan Renfield. If you loved the British actor in everything from Skins to The Great, you’ll eat up his super-charismatic turn as an assistant who’s ready to snap. Then there’s Awkwafina’s hilarious turn as traffic cop Rebecca, who cosies up to Renfield while he questions his allegiance to his master.
5. It’s Dracula as you’ve never seen him before
Cage’s Dracula is every bit as monstrous and otherworldly as you’d expect: he can turn into a pack of bats; he has scalpel-sharp fangs to lacerate his victims, and he has to keep out of direct sunlight at all times. But he is also a very modern take on this iconic character – one who rocks rhinestone-studded lapels and gaudy gold rings. He’s a Dracula with swagger who won’t give up his lackey without a fight. So, buckle up and enjoy the thrill ride.