I am sure that 2023 will bring us a group of thoughtful, emotional, provoking films to make us think and feel and cry, but you know? All I care about, right now, is the silly sh-t. Fill my veins with M3gan and Barbie and Renfield, I don’t need anything else. Maybe it’s my seasonal affective disorder talking, but it’s the winter doldrums and I just want to laugh. And you know what? The trailer for Renfield made me laugh. 


I was already primed for this movie because casting Nicolas Cage as Dracula is PERFECTION, but what really got me in the trailer is Nicholas Hoult. He’s one of cinema’s best silly boys, he’s a great actor with PHENOMENAL timing and delivery, and he commits to playing idiots, losers, fops, and wastrels better than anyone (see also: The Great, in which he plays all four of those things at once). 

Renfield is as promised, at least in the snack-sized trailer. Hoult plays Dracula’s faithful lackey, Renfield, who is desperate to break their bond. There’s a restaurant massacre, Cage as Dracula, and group therapy, and Awkwafina is along for the ride as, it seems, Renfield’s love interest. I am super into all of this, but I am especially into rendering Dracula in black-and-white, that’s just a fun visual touch, and I am into the way Renfield shouts “No!” when Dracula comes into the community center for group therapy. The expression, the tone, the clear desperation, again, no one does this better than Hoult. He’s the perfect sad-sack silly boy sidekick to Cage’s Goth Rock Dracula. 


Also, the camp potential of portraying Cage as the “classic” Bela Lugosi-inspired Dracula but in a straight contemporary context is HIGH. Very excited to see how far they take this premise—I hope they take it the farthest. After the failed “Dark Universe”, Universal has been scoring by letting filmmaker reimagine their classic monsters in unique contexts, and Renfield is promising to be the most fun of the bunch, by a wide margin, so far. It’s the perfect antidote to the winter blues.