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Losing Cage: ‘Renfield’ wanted extra Dracula, and fewer of every thing else

3 min read

Earlier than I’m going off a bit on Renfield, let me state one thing up entrance: Nicolas Cage on this movie is, unquestionably, one of many funniest, scariest and most eccentric Draculas in cinema historical past. In case you are a Cage fan, there are issues he does—little, brilliantly humorous moments—that make Renfield value seeing, if just for these.

Now that we’ve that out of the best way, it should be said that, general, the film is a failure—a possibility for a classically enjoyable horror enterprise destroyed by some brutal narrative errors. These errors end in too many minutes being a whole drag. It’s an actual letdown.

Nicholas Hoult performs the title character, Dracula’s manservant who has been hanging out with him for a lot of many years. The movie cleverly locations Hoult and Cage in black-and-white flashbacks with the vibe of the 1931 Bela Lugosi tackle the character. Nice contact.

Issues begin promisingly sufficient, however the principle gag of Renfield being depressed and codependent shortly turns into tiresome, and a subplot involving against the law syndicate in New Orleans is a supreme dud thanks, partially, to awful casting of the villains.

Cage, in the meantime, exhibits up right here and there—at first in various well-done states of decay—and places his nutty spin on Nosferatu. There are moments—together with him introducing himself to Renfield’s help group in a approach that’s virtually bashful at instances—which might be laugh-out-loud humorous. There are additionally moments the place Cage is genuinely scary.

However then the film reverts again to Renfield being all depressed and gloomy; he solely actually involves life when he eats the occasional bug to grow to be a super-fighter—in super-violent and gory sequences, with a video-game really feel, that conflict with the Cage materials. It’s disjointed and disorientating, and it in the end takes the movie down a couple of notches.

They need to’ve simply referred to as the film Dracula and made it utterly loopy with Cage on the heart. Making an attempt to be intelligent by making Renfield the star is a mistake. Dracula shouldn’t be a supporting character, particularly not Cage’s superior model of Dracula.

They need to’ve let Hoult play Renfield in a supporting function because the basic loopy, overly blissful model of the character (full along with his wheezy snort), however with a touch of melancholy and codependency. That would’ve been an amazing facet gag. It’s a mistake making his major problem the crux of the film. Hoult is pressured to play the character realistically as a tragic sack, which is a chore to look at.

Regardless of its promise, Renfield flopped at theaters, and it’s fairly simple to see why. It’s a disgrace, as a result of Cage is actually wonderful right here, with a few of the most enjoyable he’s ever had onscreen. In case you are a Cage fan, lease it when it hits the streaming companies, and diminish your general expectations. In case you are not a Cage fan, it’s greatest to keep away from Renfield.

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