“If you feel like there’s somebody in your life that’s treating you a certain way, you can take your power back”: Chris McKay on Renfield
If you’re in the market for some sizzling, silly humour, over-the-top-gore and Nicolas Cage at his unhinged best, then look no further than Chris McKay’s Renfield. The man behind The Lego Batman Movie and The Tomorrow War has taken the much-invoked lore of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and given it a contemporary treatment, portraying the sinister figure as the boss from hell. Robert Montagu Renfield, played beautifully as an old-school posh Brit by Nicholas Hoult, is his put-upon servant, who, although is able to benefit from Dracula’s power, begins to crave his autonomy from their toxic relationship.
If the Hoult-Cage pairing is a left-field but genius one, furthermore Awkwafina is the tenacious cop who becomes an unexpected inspiration to Hoult’s Renfield, and their comedic chemistry is electric. The kitschy sets and costumes, and the B movie-inspired gore (can arms be dismembered and reused as daggers? Sure!) make this an absolute bloody delight to watch.
The Upcoming had a brilliant chat with the filmmaker about the making of the horror comedy. He praised Nick Hoult’s portrayal of the character, bringing vulnerability and charm to someone who could have been unlikeable, and also shared the magic behind the unexpected cast chemistry, particularly between Hoult and Awkwafina, and the importance of their characters’ friendship. McKay delved into the inspiration for Renfield‘s look and feel, drawing from classic horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead and American Werewolf in London, and highlighted the dedication of his team in creating over-the-top, gory action set pieces. Finally, McKay shared the message behind Renfield: anyone can take their power back from a controlling figure in their life.
Renfield is released nationwide on 14th April 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Renfield here: