Renfield: release date, reviews, cast and everything we know about the comedy

Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult in Renfield
Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult in Renfield (Image credit: Michele K. Short/Universal Pictures)

Dracula has long been one of the most iconic characters in movies, literature or whatever medium you want to put him in, but what about his poor, put-upon assistant Renfield? The new 2023 movie Renfield looks to address all the problems in this working relationship with a comedic, action twist.

The history of Dracula and Renfield on screen goes all the way back to 1922's Nosferatu, but with the pairing of Nicholas Hoult and Nicolas Cage in the two roles, Renfield is certainly poised to show a very different dynamic between the two characters.

Here is everything that you need to know about Renfield.

Renfield release date

Renfield is now playing exclusively in movie theaters in the US, UK and elsewhere. 

It shares the month of April with a couple of other notable movies, including The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Evil Dead Rise.

Renfield plot

As Universal Pictures teases, "Evil doesn't span eternity without a little help," and for the most infamous vampire, Dracula, that help comes in the form of Renfield. But after years of gruelling work, it looks like Renfield is looking for a way to stand up to his long-time boss. Here is the official synopsis:

"In this modern monster tale of Dracula's loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Nicolas Cage). Renfield 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."

Renfield is written by Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty), based on an idea from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead).

Renfield trailer

A new trailer for Renfield arrived on March 22, giving us the best look yet at Nicolas Cage's interpretation of Dracula and some of the action moviegoers can expect. Watch below:

You can also watch the previously released trailer right here:

Renfield cast

Nicolas Hoult and Nicolas Cage star in Renfield, with Hoult playing the titular servant and Cage as Dracula.

Hoult has been starring in movies since he was a kid (all the way back to About a Boy), but has definitely garnered a lot of fans for his more offbeat, comedic performances in recent years, including Warm Bodies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Favourite, Hulu's The Great and 2022's The Menu.

Nicolas Cage practically needs no introduction. The Oscar-winner is beloved for his off the wall performances in fan favorites like Face/Off, Mandy, Pig and even as a parody of himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Also starring in Renfield are Awkwafina (The Farewell, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Ben Schwartz (Sonic, The Afterparty), Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Focus), Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse, The Flight Attendant) and Brandon Scott Jones (Ghosts, The Other Two).

Renfield reviews — what the critics are saying

What to Watch's Renfield review gave the movie a thumbs up, particularly for Nicolas Cage's fun performance as Dracula, but how did other critics grade the movie? Overall, OK. The action/horror/comedy has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 62% as of April 14, which gives it a "Fresh" rating on the site; audiences have been grading it higher, with it earning an 81% approval from them.

How long is Renfield?

Renfield clocks in at a brisk one hour and 33 minutes, a somewhat rare counter point to the argument that movies are getting longer.

What is Renfield rated?

Renfield is rated R in the US and 15 in the UK for "bloody violence, some gore, language throughout and some drug use."

Renfield director

Renfield is directed by Chris McKay, whose recent movies include the Chris Pratt action movie The Tomorrow War and the animated comedy The Lego Batman Movie

Renfield poster

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.