Nicolas Cage’s Dracula Still Rules ‘Renfield’ [Blu-ray Review]

Dracula is back in the horror action comedy Renfield, and the film has come home on a “Dracula Sucks Edition” Blu-ray, loaded with bonus content, including a feature length commentary track.

Universal Pictures’ latest entry into their pantheon of Dracula movies, Renfield is a comic book-colored action comedy in which the longsuffering titular servant of the immortal vampire count finally gets the spotlight. Taking place in present day and focusing on Renfield’s realization that he is in a toxic relationship with his narcissistic boss, his plight for independence becomes instantly relatable.

Nicholas Hoult is immensely likable in the title role and Akwafina is a joy to watch as police officer Rebecca Quincy (her father was Morris Quincy; a nod the Quincey Morris character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel).

The absolute highlight of the film; however, is seeing Nicolas Cage given seemingly endless freedom to indulge his unique version of Count Dracula in a performance that pays homage to Bela Lugosi’s iconic portrayal but is at once its own incarnation. The outstanding makeup effects work applied to Cage throughout the film is also a big part of his Dracula, as he goes through various hideous regenerating looks after a crispy encounter with sunlight in the opening prologue.

With its quick 90-minute runtime and surprisingly plentiful gore that is often presented in laugh-out-loud scenarios, I found the film to be a fun crowd-pleaser headlined by an awesome new Dracula and celebrating the one character from all of horror who is arguably most overdue a hero turn.

The Blu-ray set we were provided with comes in a slipcase with embossed title treatment featuring the theatrical poster artwork, and the disc case cover is the same. A DVD disc and digital code are also included.

Bonus content includes eight deleted and extended scenes, the best and most disappointingly removed of which is a longer introduction to Teddy Lobo’s (Ben Schwartz) mom Bella (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and his gleefully murderous sister, who was unfortunately almost entirely cut from the theatrical release.

A brief collection of alternate takes showcases the many adlibbed variations of certain bits of dialogue. Two theatrical trailers are also included among the extras.

There are six featurettes ranging from about five to 12 minutes in length. My favorite of these is the six-minute “Stages of Rejuvenation”, which focuses on the amazing makeup effects applied to Cage’s count as he is shown in various gruesome stages of regeneration. ‘Dracula UnCaged’ showcases Cage’s inspirations in portraying his version of the legendary vampire. “Monsters and Men: Behind the Scenes of Renfield” is a fairly well-rounded 12-minute look inside the production, with interviews with all of the principal talent, but unfortunately, for some reason the film’s director, Chris McKay is absent from all the featurettes, as well as the commentary track.

Here are some of the highlights of what we learned from the feature length commentary track with producer Samantha Nisenboim, screenwriter Ryan Ridley, and additional crew members.

  • Fright Night‘s William Ragsdale plays the priest in the film’s intro, which is extra fitting since he was the hero fighting vampires in Fright Night, as well.
  • Terrifier‘s Jenna Kanell, who plays Carol, wrote many of her own lines that made the final cut of the film, and she performed all her own stunts.
  • One of Dracula’s early “regenerating” makeup looks was inspired by Picasso.
  • There were originally plans to incorporate many more of Dracula’s “creatures of the night”, including wolves and rats, beyond the bats featured in the movie, but the budget prevented it.
  • Cage was inspired in part by his own father’s speech pattern in creating his version of Dracula.

Renfield Dracula Sucks Edition is out now on Blu-ray and on DVD, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

You can also rent or purchase Renfield on Amazon Prime Video here.

Watch our exclusive interview with horror icon Caroline Williams on her appearance in Renfield and much more below.

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.


Nicolas Cage’s Dracula Still Rules ‘Renfield’ [Blu-ray Review]