Renfield (2023)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his codependency. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

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‘Renfield’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Renfield (2023)In the early 20th Century, English lawyer R.M. Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) travels to Transylvania in the hopes of making a lucrative land deal. However, he instead encounters the infamous vampire Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage) who corrupts the young lawyer into becoming his familiar, an assistant to a vampire that can possess immortality, super strength, and super speed when he eats bugs.

Ninety years later, Renfield begins to regret his decision to tie himself to Dracula and grows weary of bringing victims to the infamous vampire to feed upon. The ancient vampire has just recently survived an encounter with a couple of vampire hunters due to Renfield’s assistance, but Dracula is severely burned during the attack. Renfield and Dracula move to New Orleans to allow the vampire to recuperate. Dracula insists Renfield bring him people who are pure. However, Renfield has a problem with bringing good people to Dracula for food. Instead, Renfield joins a self-help group for people who are in codependent relationships, led by Mark (Brandon Scott Jones).

One of the other group members, Vanessa (Caroline Williams), talks about her abusive and controlling boyfriend. Renfield visits the boyfriend with the intent of feeding him to Dracula, an act that would not provide him with any guilt. However, Renfield’s plan is interrupted by a group of assassins from the Lobo crime family coming to kill the same boyfriend. Renfield eats his bug and kills all the gang members, but he is observed by Teddy Lobo (Ben Schwartz), the inept son of the leader of the Lobo family, Bellafrancesca (Shohreh Aghdashloo). Teddy flees in a hurry to avoid being killed by Renfield and runs into a sobriety checkpoint being run by police office Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina), a gung-ho police officer who has a grudge against the Lobo family for killing her police officer father. Rebecca arrests Teddy, but the gangster is released a short time later by corrupt police officers working in her own station. Rebecca expresses her frustrations over her inability to stop the Lobo family to her more successful sister Kate (Camille Chen) who works for the FBI as an agent.

Back at Dracula’s lair, Dracula expresses his dissatisfaction with Renfield for the dead gangsters he has brought him, once again expressing his need to feed on the blood of the pure. Renfield goes back out to bring in more victims for his master and stops at a restaurant to abduct commoners. Rebecca also arrives at the same restaurant having been led there by clues in her investigation against the Lobos. Teddy leads a group of gangsters into the restaurant to take out Rebecca under the orders of Teddy’s mother. Renfield and Rebecca team up to save the other patrons in the restaurant and kill all the gang members except Teddy who gets away.

You know when something crazy happens and someone’s like, “It’s okay. I’ve seen way worse?” Everything I saw you do today is gonna be my “way worse.” Rebecca (Awkwafina)

Once back at his mother’s home, Teddy relays the information that he had seen Renfield for a second time, and once again, the familiar killed multiple members of the gang. Bellafrancesca orders Teddy to hunt down Renfield. Teddy’s mission leads him to Dracula’s lair where the ancient vampire and the gangster form an alliance. At the same time, Renfield has a breakthrough with his group counseling and realizes that he no longer wants to have a codependent relationship with Dracula. He begins making a life for himself separate from Dracula. Renfield gets his own apartment and tries to become more helpful to the world. He also begins talking to Rebecca on a regular basis. Renfield provides a statement to the police that will help them to finally stop the Lobos. Dracula becomes aware of Renfield’s change of attitude and decides to punish his familiar by killing the entirety of the self-help group in front of Renfield.

Rebecca arrives at the group meeting and finds Renfield covered in blood and surrounded by dead bodies. Disappointed, she arrests him and places Renfield in her squad car. On the street, Rebecca is surrounded by dozens of corrupt police officers and various members of the Lobos crime family, including Bellafrancesca. The mob boss insists that Rebecca turns over Renfield to her, but Rebecca refuses and flees in her car with Renfield. She narrowly escapes, but Rebecca is shot during the escape.

The next morning, Rebecca awakens to find that Renfield has saved her and made her breakfast at his apartment. Not surprisingly, Rebecca is distrustful of Renfield, but soon realizes in a world where her fellow officers are on the take, he may be her only reliable ally. Renfield tells Rebecca his origin story and confesses to being obsessed with his own greed. The decision of which cost Renfield his family. Renfield conveys his sincerity in wanting to reform. At the same time, the corrupt police and gangsters track Rebecca and Renfield down to Renfield’s apartment. The two must fight through an army of attackers, but ultimately, they are successful. However, Rebecca learns that Bellafrancesca and her new ally, Dracula, have kidnapped her sister Kate.

Rebecca and Renfield arm themselves with various weapons and bugs and storm the Lobos’ headquarters. However, they learn that Dracula has turned Teddy and half of dozen other Lobo soldiers into familiars. Teddy takes on the new familiars and kills them all. Unfortunately, Rebecca makes it to Dracula and discovers that her sister has been beaten to near-death. Dracula offers to use the healing powers of his blood to save Kate if Rebecca pledges her loyalty to the vampire. Renfield arrives and pleads with Rebecca to not make the same mistake that he made. Rebecca tricks Dracula and injures him by exposing him to sunlight. Renfield and Rebecca team up to take on Dracula. They ultimately are successful in luring him into an enchanted circle that confines Dracula.

Rebecca and Renfield dismember the captured Dracula with various weapons that they find in the Lobo family’s headquarters. They take the various pieces and encase them in cement and scatter them around the city in the water system. Bellafrancesca is arrested by Rebecca and imprisoned. Kate and the self-help group are healed using some of Dracula’s blood, and Renfield finally begins his new life free from the influence of the infamous vampire.

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Our Rating

Universal Pictures released Renfield on April 14, 2023. Chris McKay directed the film starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, and Awkwafina.

User Rating: 2.92 ( 3 votes)
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