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Breaking down the bloody ending of 'Renfield' - will we see more of Nic Cage's Dracula?

Now that Renfield is in theaters, let's take a closer look at the film's final scenes.

By Matthew Jackson
(from left) Benjamin Schwartz and Nicholas Hoult in Renfield (2023)

Renfield is finally here. The new take on the Dracula story, starring Nicholas Hoult as vampire servant R.M. Renfield and Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula himself, has taken a bite out of theaters after months of anticipation and early praise for Cage's performance as everyone's favorite bloodsucker. Now, it's time to talk about the film's twist on a classic story, and what it does and doesn't leave behind. 

RELATED: Does 'Renfield,' starring Nicolas Cage as Dracula, have a post-credits scene?

So, let's take a closer look at how it all ends, what Renfield might offer in terms of sequel possibilities, and more. 

SPOILERS AHEAD for the entirety of Renfield

In terms of the basics of its plot, Renfield essentially ends things by meeting our expectations as an audience. We've spent the whole movie learning to root for Renfield, and the film rewards us for that by engineering a scenario in which he's finally able to take control of his own power, overcome Dracula, and then literally smash the vampire to pieces. Then, with Rebecca (Awkawafina) at his side and the Lobo crime family defeated, he heads out into the world to continue to be a hero in smaller, more human ways ... with a little help from Dracula's old magic.

So, does that mean Dracula is defeated entirely? As Renfield himself notes, it's definitely not a guarantee. We spent the first half of the movie watching the Count come back from a full-on encounter with sunlight, and all it took was a little time and a lot of blood. Of course, his demise at the end of Renfield is just a bit more complicated than that, as Renfield and Rebecca take all the little Dracula bits they've smashed up, encase them individually in concrete, and then pour them down the sewer. That's definitely tough to come back from, but if anyone can do it, it's Dracula.

But even setting aside the possibility of the Count's resurrection somewhere down the line in a potential sequel, Renfield actually leaves something more interesting on the table. Literally. The last shot in the film is of a full pitcher on the support group snack table that's labeled "Dracula blood," which Renfield harvested for its healing properties late in the movie. It's powerful stuff, so powerful that Renfield used it to bring every member of the support group back to life, and he's still got plenty left in the pitcher. So, what happens to the rest of it, and is that even all of it?

There are a lot of ways for a second film to answer this question, of course. Renfield could try to synthesize the blood and change pharmaceuticals forever, or he could lock it away and save it only for emergencies involving people he cares about. Some corporate overlord could steal it and use it to essentially make human immortality a foregone conclusion of daily life. Or perhaps there's someone else out there who'd like to get some of Dracula's blood, maybe a mad scientist or a werewolf or a mummy who could use a little healing in his or her life. Is that the pathway to a crossover? Maybe, or maybe it's just a clever joke left at the end of the film. 

Or is the Dracula blood something else altogether? While the film follows many of same rules set out over the decades by various Dracula stories, what it never fully does is examine what the Count's blood is capable of beyond simple healing. What might happen, for example, if someone just went over and chugged that entire pitcher of blood? Would they gain superpowers like Renfield, or would they transform ... further? Is that red liquid a pathway to making more vampires, or strengthening existing vampires — another thing the film doesn't spend much time on — until they rise to Dracula levels of power? Does Dracula's thirst for world domination extend to others of his kind?

These are all questions the film leaves dangling as it embraces Renfield's newfound fulfillment as a whole person without Dracula constantly lording over him. They're also the kind of questions sequels are made for. If, of course, a sequel is in the cards.

Renfield is now in theaters and you can buy tickets here!

Craving more vampire action? You'll find a host of horror films on Peacock.

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