The felony connection does have one optimistic impact on the story. It brings in Awkwafina, who’s energetic and comically baffled as Rebecca, a New Orleans police officer assigned to visitors responsibility however decided to carry down the Lobos. She and Renfield have a romantic spark, which ends up in one of many extra impressed satirical sequences. In a montage satirising a rom-com trope, Renfield will get his personal brilliant new condominium, outlets for garments and turns up on the police station sporting a pastel colour-blocked sweater from Macy’s and holding a bouquet of flowers for Rebecca. If solely the movie had stayed on that observe. What We Do within the Shadows, the same tongue-in-cheek vampire story in each its movie and tv variations, works as a result of it’s dedicated to its mockumentary conceit, with characters satisfied they’re simply odd individuals who occur to be bloodsuckers. However Renfield’s disparate crime-and-action segments, smacking of a cynical ploy for viewers, continually pull us away from the one partaking storyline.
Cage creates one other vivid, witty character, channelling previous film Draculas from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee. The Rely, quickly restored to his regular greenish-white pallour, grins and reveals rows of teeny little pointed enamel. He glides together with an air of entitlement, and in a uncommon, humorous little bit of dialogue, orders Renfield to search out him « unsuspecting vacationers, nuns, and a busload of cheerleaders », whose pure blood will nourish him. (Dracula is probably not so up-to-date on the supposed innocence of cheerleaders.) However this fun-to-watch vampire by no means stays on display screen lengthy sufficient to redeem the muddle of a movie he is trapped in. Renfield is price looking ahead to Cage, Hoult and Awkwafina’s entertaining performances, and never far more.
Renfield opens in cinemas within the US and UK on 14 April
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