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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: June 6th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Renfield

Overview -

Renfield is the Nic Cage movie everyone has been asking for. He plays Dracula with his human sidekick named Renfield who wants more out of life than just being the head vampire's servant. It's a great mix of comedy and horror - one that hopefully adds sequels soon. The 1080p HD video looks stunning and the DTS-HD 7.1 audio track sounds fantastic. The extras are exquisite as well. Highly Recommended!

 

Nicholas Hoult stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history's most narcissistic boss: Dracula (Nicolas Cage). For centuries, Renfield has slavishly served Dracula by procuring his master's prey and doing his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, Renfield is ready to look for a new life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness, if only he can figure out how to end the toxic, codependent relationship…

EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES ON DIGITAL, BLU-RAYTM & DVD: 

  • Hilarious Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Alternate Takes
  • Dracula UnCaged – Go inside the mind of a vampire as Dracula himself, Nicolas Cage, reveals the secrets behind turning a classic character into a memorable monster.
  • Monsters & Men: Behind the Scenes of RENFIELD – An in-depth look at Renfield’s cast, sets, costumes and more as the actors and filmmakers reveal how they modernized a famous terror tale with trailblazing comedy and over-the-top action.
  • Stages of Rejuvenation – See how special makeup effects bring the undead to life throughout the four stages of Dracula’s incredible transformation.
  • Flesh & Blood – Exploding heads. Peeling faces. Severed limbs. They’re all part of the macabre movie magic that fuels Renfield with inventive action and hilarious horror.
  • Fighting Dirty – Stunt coordinator Christopher Brewster leads a look at the training, choreography, and careful execution that goes into the film’s spectacular stunts and fight scenes.
  • The Making of a Deleted Scene: Renfield’s Dance! – Nicholas Hoult and choreographer Kathryn Burns pull back the curtain on constructing an elaborate musical number for a fantasy dance sequence.
  • Feature Commentary with Producer Samantha Nisenboim, Screenwriter Ryan Ridley, and Crew

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
104
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 for Bonus Content), French Canadian (DTS Digital Surround 5.1) and Latin American Spanish (DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 7.1)
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
June 6th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

It's simply Nic Cage's world and the human race is just living in it. From the Oscar-winning performance in Las Vegas to seeking out a muted vengeance about his pet truffle Pig, there is nothing that Nicolas Cage can't do. He once thought himself to be a vampire in Vampire's Kiss, but the amazing thespian has gone full bloodsucker in Chris McKay's new horror-comedy Renfield where Cage plays the one and only Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his hapless familiar. With a top-tier performance from Cage as the Prince of Darkness, along with a mix of hilarious comedy, action, and gory entrails - Renfield is a bloody blast from start to finish.

There's really nobody out there quite like Nicolas Cage in Hollywood or in the world for that matter. Cage completely thrusts himself into every role he says "yes" to, no matter how big or small the film may be. Not only doe Cage deliver lines of dialogue perfectly in any given situation, but he enables his body language to flawlessly perform as an action star, an anxiety-ridden writer, or even a cool-as-ice criminal. In the case of Renfield, Cage utilizes the best parts of what the world knows about Dracula and turns it up to eleven with his performance both in dialogue delivery and in running around biting people.

Luckily McKay (the creator of Morel Orel and The Lego Batman Movie), didn't want to make this version of Dracula sympathetic or have any real layers of humanity to him. Cage's Dracula is plain ole evil and will use anyone to get what he wants - fresh innocent people to feed off of. For more than a decade, this assistant of Dracula named Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) has been the vampire's familiar (for more, check out What We Do In The Shadows). A familiar is a human who takes care of a vampire's day-to-day needs, such as housework, bills, dry cleaning, and even scoring their food and blood sources. McKay adds to the folklore by giving Renfield vampire powers of super strength not by blood intake, but by digesting insects that play to some fun and gross gags throughout the movie.

Read the Full Review Here!

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Renfield bites its way to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Universal. The discs are both housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features Renfield with Dracula overhead. There is an insert for the digital code. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Renfield comes with a 1080p HD transfer that looks amazing. It's surprising there is no 4K release yet since Renfield is highly stylized with gorgeous colors throughout, but this HD video does a beautiful job conveying those amazing images.

The color palette can have natural hues of daylight and darkness, but can also utilize horror tropes extremely well. There are many filters where green, purple, red, blue, and even amber tints show up throughout. Red lighting accentuates one big sequence as well, where all of these colors of the dark rainbow flourish. The colors allow the pale skin of Dracula to pop brighter than in regular lighting conditions. During some of the darker sequences outside, the blue and red police vehicle lights result in some fantastic shades of color on the buildings and characters. The red blood both practical and CGI give way to many nuances of the shaded color. The black levels are inky and rich and the skin tones are natural when not a member of the undead.

The detail is sharp and vivid too with great closeups that reveal makeup applications, gory wounds on the skin, facial pores, individual hairs, and textures in the costumes. Even wider shots of the locales look excellent. There aren't really any video issues to speak about other than some light noise. This is a great look video presentation and let's all hope a 4K release is on the way. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a DTS-HD 7.1 audio mix that sounds exquisite. There is no Dolby Atmos track available (yet), but hopefully one is on the way with a future 4K effort. The sound effects are robust and pack a punch when they count. The fun and energetic action beats showcase the power vampires and their familiars have on the normal human race. Those kicks, punches, and takedowns sound impressive with a fantastic amount of low-end rumbles of bass that never crosses over into rocky territory. Gross-out gags of body parts being munched on, along with blood splatters all sound fantastic and ooze from the surround speakers perfectly. There is a great balance of sound through the use of those effects and dialogue. The score and music selections always add to the frenetic sequences of events and the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio issues to speak of. 

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 63 minutes of extras on this release, including a commentary track. All of the little featurettes are fun, entertaining and show just how much fun and bloody the movie was to make. There is also a deleted scene that is a fully produced musical and dance number that was left out of the film but is now here for the love it deserves. Great job on the extras here with plenty of Nic Cage. 

  • Audio Commentary - The producer, writer, and a couple of other crew members come aboard this commentary track and discuss getting the film made, their interpretations of Dracula, working with the cast, and utilizing the horror and comedy genres. It's a fun listen, but it's sadly missing the actors and director here. 
  • Dracula Uncaged (HD, 5 Mins.) - A short EPK featurette that has cast and crew interviews talking about Nic Cage as Dracula with some on-set and rehearsal footage included. 
  • Monsters and Men (HD, 13 Mins.) - Another EPK featurette with the cast and crew focusing on the characters of the film, their horror traits, and personas.
  • Stages of Rejuvenation (HD, 7 Mins.) - This examines the makeup and visual effects of the film that has time-lapse footage of Cage in the makeup chair and more cast and crew interviews. 
  • Flesh and Blood (HD, 6 Mins.) - Stunts, gallons of blood, guts, and fake body parts are shown on the screen with tons of rehearsal footage to show how everything was made and filmed. This is a ton of fun.
  • Fighting Dirty (HD, 6 Mins.) - More of the stuntwork, involving rehearsals, training, fire, and wire work is talked about with cast and crew interviews. 
  • Renfield's Dance (HD, 4 Mins.) - This film had a major musical and dance number shot and was made for the movie, but was taken out at the last minute. It's a fantastic scene that is included in the deleted scenes below and this is the behind-the-scenes of how it was made. 
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 18 Mins.) - There are eight deleted scenes included here, most of which are highly worth watching. In fact, there is an entire, fully-produced, musical number complete with a dance sequence included that the film left out, and it's here and glorious. Also, there are tons of gallons of blood and other fun moments. 
  • Alternate Takes (HD, 4 Mins.) - A montage of different comedic lines delivered in numerous scenes. 

Final Thoughts

Renfield is a home run of a vampire film with Nic Cage as Dracula. What more could anyone want, really? The mix of gore, comedy, and horror is pitch-perfect. The 1080p HD image looks great and the DTS-HD 7.1 audio mix sounds wonderful. The bonus features are stellar as well. Highly Recommended!