Nicolas Cage’s vampire comedy doesn’t suck

rayfield ★★★

(MA) 93 minutes

No Dracula adaptation would be complete without the presence of tearful sidekick RM Renfield, who eats flies to make ends meet and tends to the count’s business during the day.He’s had to wait a long time for his moment in the sun – but in Chris McKay’s horror-comedy, his moment finally arrives Renfieldhe is played by the never-charismatic Nicholas Hoult, who may be a little too young but sure knows how to cry.

Nicolas Cage stole the film as Dracula in Renfield.

Nicolas Cage stole the film as Dracula in Renfield.

Not that Renfield ever fully managed to escape his master’s shadow. While Holt is the lead and voice-over narrator, the main draw is Nicolas Cage’s tour de force as Dracula, mostly for laughs but showing his careful study of many of his predecessors.

We meet the diabolical duo in present-day New Orleans, with Draco taking refuge in the basement of an abandoned hospital. Weakened by a recent skirmish with the vampire hunters and in dire need of fresh blood, the downtrodden but loyal Renfield supplies, using his own minor league vampiric powers to target local thugs and others who won’t be missed. people.

Dracula is off-screen for most of the film, but each time he appears, he’s one step closer to omnipotence—making Cage, with the help of an equally dedicated makeup team, one after another offers us our own version of the character. From something resembling a sentient compost heap, he transforms into a snarling, glare, and self-congratulatory monster, displaying not just regular fangs but a whole host of other special-purpose Jagged teeth designed to chew the landscape.

Renfield’s transformation was largely internal, stemming from a gradual realization that he was in an abusive relationship — though he eventually began combing his hair and donning colorful sweaters to reinvent himself.

By this point, he has a new potential partner, a stubbornly kind-hearted cop (Awkwafina) whose anger issues seem manageable by comparison. Other supporting characters who survive enough to make an impact include Quentin Tarantino-like snarling geek gang boss (Ben Schwartz) and his hoarse-voiced mother (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who actually runs the town .

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