starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Benjamin Schwartz
screenplay by Ryan Ridley
directed by Chris McKay
starring Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa Willamo
written and directed by Jalmari Helander
by Walter Chaw Chris McKay is an able director still looking for a project that isn't an embarrassing high concept. His years on "Robot Chicken" and "Moral Orel" demonstrate a strong sense of timing and a willingness to offend the status quo, but so far--between The Lego Batman Movie, The Tomorrow War, and now Renfield--McKay has only been tasked with shepherding a few expensive (if laboured and overburdened) cows to pasture. Renfield is both a workplace comedy and a Raimi-esque slap-stick splatter ("splat-stick?") flick in which bug-eating vampire familiar Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) attends codependency support groups to listen to other people complain about toxic relationships. It seems his boss, Dracula (Nicolas Cage), is a raging narcissist, and Renfield, after centuries of servitude, has finally had enough. There's a parallel plot, too, involving a crime family led by imperious Bellafrancesca Lobo (a slumming Shohreh Aghdashloo) and her asshole son, Tedward (a not-slumming Ben Schwartz), running amuck while dedicated cop Rebecca (Awkwafina) and her FBI agent sister Kate (Camille Chen) try to bring them down.