Nic Cage brings comedy bite to Dracula movie Renfield
It’s that special time of year when Nicolas Cage stars in a film so batshit crazy it just might work. This time he plays Dracula with enough scenery-chewing to make Hammer Horror look like The Shining.
He’s joined by Nicholas Hoult in the title role of Renfield, Dracula’s “familiar”, who is given some of the Count’s powers in order to bring him people to eat. Unsatisfied with his lot in life, he turns to a support group for toxic relationships and realises he deserves better. Alas, his push for independence is scuppered when he falls foul of a violent drug kingpin (Ben Schwartz).
Zipping along at a brisk ninety minutes, there are some similarities with Hoult’s 2013 “Zom-Com” Warm Bodies, but whereas that film quickly ran out of steam, here Hoult keeps the laughs coming.
Director Chris McKay knows what you came for, and that’s Cage in full Dracula mode. While he’s not on screen as often as his co-stars, every scene is a gem as he camps it up for all he’s worth (an early flashback styled like the Bella Lugosi Dracula films is a delight).
Hoult makes an excellent double act with Awkwafina, playing a cop looking for vengeance for the death of his father. Renfield leaves the coffin door open for a sequel, which might be pushing the concept too far. However, there’s plenty of bite in this comedy to make it a low brow crowd pleaser.