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Bloody Cage rage! Everything you need to know about ‘Renfield’

Cage and Hoult are going to deliver the co-dependent goods. 

By Brian Silliman
Renfield (2023)

Are you ready for another raucous round of mayhem with Nicolas Cage? If so, then Renfield is going to a must-see when it hits theaters on April 14. Cage is playing a version of Count Dracula, and he will surely bring his unique stylings to the role. What do you need to know before going to see the new movie? A little preparation wouldn’t bite that hard.

The movie is being described as a “horror comedy” and the trailers that have been released make it look like it fulfills that promise. Cage, we hope, will be in his "unhinged delight" mode; less Pig, and more Vampire’s Kiss. (If Dracula lists off the letters of the alphabet for no reason, it will be an in-joke about Vampire's Kiss.)

However, Dracula is not the title character.


The movie is called Renfield, so it will recount the story from the perspective of, you guessed it, Renfield! The character usually serves as Dracula’s long-suffering familiar/servant, and same seems to be the case here. Nicholas Hoult (The Menu) will play the titular character, and if anyone doubts his comedic abilities, watch any episode of The Great. His timing and commitment is more powerful than a bolt of lightning.

Is it possible for Renfield to have a life away from Dracula? That’s what the movie is going to explore. Renfield has served Dracula for centuries, and he will be plunged into our modern world. We expect a lot of fish-out-of-water comedy as Renfield is confronted with whatever "society" we’re living in now. Will he become a social media star? Will he drive a car into a tree? Will he enjoy Stardew Valley? We’ll find out.


The Count isn’t going to let his Gollum get away so easily. As trailers suggest, Dracula is going to be back in Renfield’s life whether Renfield wants it or not. Cage will be haunting and stalking Hoult, and that seems like a surefire recipe for fun. The “horror” aspect will probably involve one (or both) of them killing people. Hopefully the victims will have it coming.

We think that audiences can expect a vibe similar to the televised sensation What We Do In The Shadows. Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillén) and his master Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak) are constantly playing out a cycle of needy co-dependence, and Guillermo rebels on more than one occasion. The Dracula/Renfield dynamic in this movie looks like it is taking a cue from that.

RELATED: Renfield writer Ryan Ridley describes Dracula horror-comedy as a superhero blockbuster


What else do you need to know? Awkwafina is in the movie, as is The Good Place actor Brandon Scott Jones. Fans of Ben Schwartz rejoice, because he’s in it too. How will they react to the centuries-old Renfield, and Dracula himself when he comes calling? We’re going to guess that it’ll be funny and possibly lethal. We don’t see a Nicholas Cage Dracula putting up with the antics of Ben Schwartz for long.

Don’t expect a full-on horror, this will be a subversion of horror tropes. Anything and everything that you know about Dracula mythos will be up for grabs, and will be turned on its head. As silly as it all looks, it’s not a spoof. This is not Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Director Chris McKay has already said that he wants to dive into the psyche of Nicholas Cage's Dracula, so that aspect alone will set it apart. 

Renfield will end up having a heart and a message; possibly even a strong take on how some relationships have to eventually come to an end. Either that, or things will devolve into a complete carnival of chaos that will make the ending of Dead Alive look tame.

That brings us to the most important thing to know: The movie has been rated R. There will be no shortage of gore, and no shortage of profanity. This will not be a movie to take the kids to ... unless you have a bloody granola style of parenting. You do you. 

With Cage and Hoult in the lead roles, an R rating, and an endless supply of Dracula lore to draw from, the possibilities are endless. We will be entertained. 

Renfield bites into cinemas on April 14. Fly to it, we command you.