Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
Dracula / vampires
What does the Bible say about ghosts?
About the final judgment
Good versus evil
About blood in the Bible
Nicholas Hoult … Renfield
Nicolas Cage … Dracula
Awkwafina … Rebecca
Ben Schwartz (Benjamin Schwartz) … Tedward Lobo
Shohreh Aghdashloo … Bellafrancesca Lobo
Brandon Scott Jones … Mark
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“I am your only friend”
“Renfield” tells the story of Dracula’s henchman/familiar whose primary job is to bring Dracula victims to consume in exchange for immorality and a portion of his power. Formerly an English lawyer, R.M. Renfield achieves his supernatural strength and powers by regularly eating bugs.
The film opens with Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) in a support group for people in abusive and controlling relationships. We are then shown Renfield’s backstory via flashback/narration, which introduces us to Dracula (Nicolas Cage). Renfield uses the support group as a way getting victim’s for Dracula to feed on, but during one of these episodes he runs into a crime boss and decides he’s ready to leave Dracula for good. However, Dracula has other plans. This is the opening of a gore-filled blood-fest of a film.
The plot is relatively simple to follow but is jumbled with chunky exposition and too many swear words and blasphemous themes to count.
Nicholas Hoult’s acting is well renowned from other films such as “Tolkien,” the “X-Men” franchise, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Current War,” and “Jack the Giant Slayer”. but this just seems so grotesque compared to his other work. Nicolas Cage is Nicolas Cage—very over-the-top acting has become his trademark. It suits the Dracula role well, but again the film is unaesthetic. Rebecca’s (Awkwafina) character (an aggressive traffic cop) is completely unfunny, forced, and serves as a humorless plot device.
The objectionable content is extensive. The very first two words in the film are blasphemous, and the entire movie is littered with foul language. There is also excessive violence and gore. The fight scenes are intense—which one would come to expect from a vampire film, but this one goes overboard with the blood, guts, and violence. There is also drug use, drinking of blood and eating of bugs. The blood seemed obviously fake to me, but it still is in excess.
As for a spiritual component, this film focuses on saving yourself, putting yourself first, you can save yourself, and a lot of the New Age mantras we see in modern Progressive movements. There is a resurrection aspect to it as well; Dracula’s blood can bring people back from the dead and heal wounds, etc. Everything in this film is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Salvation only comes through the blood of Christ. He blood is the only saving grace we have. He is the only One who is risen from the dead to save all who believe upon Him.
This film is not recommended. The blasphemous language, the blood, guts, gore and the overall anti-Christ message of salvation, make it a hard pass.
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