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Chris McKay
Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina
Writing Credits:
Ryan Ridley

Dracula's henchman Renfield longs for a life away from the Count, his various demands, and all of the bloodshed that comes with them.

Box Office:
$65 million.
Opening Weekend:
$8,026,475 on 3375 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English DVS
Spanish DTS-HD HR 7.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 6/6/2023

• Audio Commentary with Producer Samantha Nisenboim, Screenwriter Ryan Ridley, Assistant Editor Noah Cody, Supervising Sound Editors Nancy Nugent Title and John Marquis, Visual Effects Supervisor James E. Price, Makeup Effects Artist Christien Tinsley and Supervising Digital Colorist Dave Cole
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Alternate Takes
• “Dracula Uncaged” Featurette
• “Monsters & Men” Featurette
• “Stages of Rejuvenation” Featurette
• “Flesh & Blood” Featurette
• “Fighting Dirty” Featurette
• “The Making of a Deleted Scene” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Renfield [Blu-Ray] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 11, 2023)

More than 90 years after 1931’s classic Dracula hit screens, 2023’s Renfield attempts to give it a sequel. Expect a much lighter tone from this mix of comedy and horror, though.

For decades, Robert Montague Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) has served as the primary aide to the notorious vampire Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage). This job means plenty of location changes, the latest of which takes Drac and Renfield to New Orleans.

After so many years in this co-dependent relationship, Renfield seeks a way out of his situation. This leads him to seek a method to “break up” with Dracula, a separation that he’ll not easily achieve.

Renfield wants to mix comedy and horror. Lots of movies have pulled this off and done well at the box office, with 2023’s Cocaine Bear as a very recent example.

Unfortunately for those involved, Renfield failed to find an audience. It brought in a mere $25 million worldwide, a decidedly problematic take given its $65 million budget.

Thus I don’t expect to see Son of Renfield any time soon – or ever. And given the quality of Renfield, I can’t say that bothers me.

Renfield came with some hopes for high quality given those involved. The film boasts a nice cast, as in addition to Hoult and Cage, we find talents like Awkafina, Ben Schwartz and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

I also like the approach to the tale. We’ve gotten 80 skillion movies about Dracula over the decades, so a story that concentrates on his assistant prompts intrigue.

With its “high concept” view of the Drac/Renfield co-dependent relationship, the film comes with even more potential. It treats Drac like an abusive romantic partner – not a comedic topic in and of itself, but given the circumstances, it opens up to potential entertainment.

Alas, the end result just never gets there. With extreme gore and campy comedy, the two sides fail to connecr.

Perhaps if Renfield pulled off either the horror or the frivolity well, I wouldn’t mind. It doesn’t need to hit it out of the park in both domains, but if at least one succeeded, that’d give the flick a boost.

Renfield doesn’t dig into either domain well enough to prosper, though, and its morass of a story hurts it. Although the movie should concentrate almost exclusively on the Drac/Renfield situation, it gets bogged down in a superfluous subplot related to a Mafia family.

I think the theme related to local cop Rebecca (Awkwafina) offers a natural fit. After all, the tale needs some of the standard tension of a human who tries to expose the supernatural shenanigans, so while Rebecca’s presence lacks inventiveness, at least it feels worthwhile.

On the other hand, the Mafia segments just seem like they come from a different movie. Although Renfield connects them to the main plot eventually, they remain largely pointless.

Honestly, Renfield often feels like a short film padded to feature length. Its concept likely would fare better at an abbreviated length, as a 20-minute look at Renfield’s co-dependence could amuse.

Expanded to more than 90 minutes, though, the story falters. The filmmakers just can’t find enough good content to fill that running time.

The actors go over the top – especially Cage, who falls into self-parody here. 25 years ago, I counted myself as a big fan of the actor, but I think he got lazy over time and devolved into a cartoon “Nic Cage Character” too often.

That mars Renfield. Cage plays the role like someone who does an impersonation of Cage.

None of this makes Renfield a terrible movie, as its themes and action muster enough punch to keep us with it. However, it just never becomes an especially engaging ride.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Renfield appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a solid presentation.

Sharpness felt fine overall. Some dimly-lit interiors could seem a bit on the soft side, but most of the movie boasted appealing delineation.

I witnessed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the image lacked source flaws.

Colors went down a highly stylized path, with a mix of heavy greens, reds, blues and ambers. The disc replicated these tones as intended.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. Expect a strong image here.

In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack also fared well, with a largely vivid soundscape. Though not packed with action, the movie kicked to life enough to offer engagement.

General atmosphere worked well, and the mix used music in an involving manner. Violent scenes boasted appealing punch, as those used the various channels to create a lively soundfield.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared concise and natural. Music seemed vivid and full.

Effects brought a good punch, with elements that became accurate and dynamic. This turned into a worthwhile track.

The disc comes with a bunch of extras, and we launch with an audio commentary from producer Samantha Nisenboim, screenwriter Ryan Ridley, assistant editor Noah Cody, supervising sound editors Nancy Nugent Title and John Marquis, visual effects supervisor James E. Price, makeup effects artist Christien Tinsley and supervising digital colorist Dave Cole.

All eight sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, makeup and various effects, sets and locations, music and audio, visual design and editing, and connected domains.

A commentary that involves eight participants in one session could lean messy, as that seems like a lot of mouths to feed – and talk over each other. Happily, that doesn’t become the case, mainly because Nisenboim serves as an effective ringleader.

This means the track moves at a good pace while the speakers mingle in an efficient manner. We get a lot of useful notes in this engaging discussion.

Eight Deleted and Extended Scenes span a total of 17 minutes, 31 seconds. Most of these offer added exposition or minor character information.

We do get extra action, though, as well as a fantasy musical sequence that would’ve been an interesting change of pace if it ended up in the movie. This becomes a pretty solid collection of cut footage.

We also find three minutes, 18 seconds of Alternate Takes. These show unused lines and offer some amusement.

Six featurettes follow, and Dracula Uncaged runs four minutes, 48 seconds. It brings notes from Nisenboim, producer Robert Kirkman, and actors Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

The program looks at Cage’s work and approach to Dracula. It becomes a mix of good shots from the set and a few insights as well as praise for the actor.

Monsters & Men lasts 12 minutes, 35 seconds and delivers comments from Cage, Hoult, Schwartz, Kirkman, Ridley, Nisenboim, Awkwafina, Aghdashloo, Schwartz, Tinsley, producers David Alpert, Sean Furst and Bryan Furst, costume designer Lisa Lovaas, production designer Alec Hammond, and special effects prop foreman Matthew Hall.

With “Monsters”, we cover story/characters/screenplay, cast and performances, costumes and makeup effects, sets and locations, and props. “Monsters” mixes fluff and facts but still becomes a pretty decent reel.

Next comes Stages of Rejuvenation, a six-minute, 15-second piece that involves Cage, Kirkman, Furst, Tinsley, Nisenboim, and Alpert.

This show discusses the various looks given to Dracula as he comes back to strength. Despite some of the usual happy talk, this becomes a good view of the work done to give Dracula various phases.

Flesh & Blood goes for five minutes, 23 seconds. It offers remarks from Tinsley, Cage, Hoult, Awkwafina, Schwartz, Ridley, Kirkman, Lovaas and actors Adrian Martinez and Marcus Lewis.

During the featurette, we find more about various effects, with an emphasis on gore. This leans more self-congratulatory than I’d like but it nonetheless dispenses some worthwhile material/

After this we get Fighting Dirty, a six-minute, 12-second reel that supplies statements from Cage, Hoult, Schwartz, Awkwafina, Hammond, and stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Christopher Brewster.

“Dirty” examines stunts and action. Expect another mix of praise and facts.

Finally, The Making of a Deleted Scene fills three minutes, 34 seconds and provides info from Hoult, Hammond, Lovaas, and choreographer Kathryn Burns.

They give us notes about the unused dance sequence I mentioned. It gives us some basics but not much.

The disc opens with ads for M3GAN and Cocaine Bear. No trailer for Renfield appears here.

The set includes a DVD copy of Renfield as well. It presents the same extras as the Blu-ray.

An expansion of the 1931 classic Dracula, Renfield lacks bite. It never figures out what tone it wants to adopt so the end product feels messy and not especially interesting. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and audio as well as a good selection of supplements. The movie disappoints.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main