Renfield (2023) Movie Ending Explained: Directed by Chris McKay, ‘Renfield’ is the new American comedy horror film. Inspired by the characters from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, the film is written by Ryan Ridley based on Robert Kirkman’s story. The film stars Nicholas Hoult (The Great), Nicolas Cage (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Adrian Martinez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Camille Chen, and Brand Scott Jones, among others.
Besides chronicling the bloodthirsty Dracula’s adventures through the whimsical acting style of Nicolas Cage, Renfield is also a drama about a man wanting to be freed from an abusive relationship with his employer. It tells the story of Renfield, Dracula’s henchman, who has been stuck serving him for over nine decades.
Renfield (2023) Movie Summary & Plot Synopsis:
What is Renfield about? Why does Renfield go to co-dependency group meetings?
The film begins with a scene from a 12-step self-help group meeting for people in co-dependent relationships. Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) joins this group since he is also in a destructive relationship. While a woman tells her emotional story, Renfield thinks about his plan to kill the abusive partners of these members so that he can fulfill the bloodthirst of his boss – Dracula (Nicolas Cage).
What is Renfield’s origin story?
Over 90 years ago, Renfield met Dracula as a lawyer, trying to broker a deal for land. Unfortunately, he ended up becoming Dracula’s familiar, i.e., his assistant. Renfield is now immortal and gains incredible strength and speed once he consumes bugs. A significant amount of his work involves killing people and bringing their dead bodies to Dracula to devour. He has now grown tired and exhausted from this senseless rampage and hopes to find a way out.
Recently, Renfield did receive a chance to set himself free from this soul-sucking employment. But Dracula managed to influence him in such a way that Renfield would feel worthless in his master’s absence. So Renfield saves Dracula from death but not an attack from the sun’s rays. So they flee the town like every other time they have done so.
The group coordinator shares affirmations – ‘I am enough, I have enough.’ Renfield cannot resonate with those as much as he wants to. Later, while on a job to kill some victims for Dracula, he gets attacked by a masked man – who was sent by their rival Lobo family. Despite getting injured, Renfield manages to win the fight with this henchman and escapes the site. Outside, Tedward Lobo (Ben Schwarts) keeps honking for his henchman, expecting the job to get done at the earliest.
By then, Renfield forcefully punches that masked man’s face, that it flies all the way to Tedward’s car and lands on his window. Terrified by it, Tedward decides to flee the scene. But on a traffic police stop, Officer Rebecca (Awkwafina) notices him shouting to get special treatment to override the congestion. He notices her back and starts running away with the packages of cocaine from his car. But she hits him with a weapon and brings him back to the Police HQ.
Meanwhile, Renfield drags the henchman’s body to Dracula, who looks terrible due to lack of nutrition. He looks like he clearly needs so much to savor before getting back to his regular state. Unfortunately, he does not like the henchman’s carcass and expects Renfield to bring some pure & innocent blood to bring him back to his full power. Renfield shares his wish to have a normal life again once he fulfills this duty. It enrages Dracula, who considers him to be betraying his values and servitude. So, he goes out to bring back some unsuspecting common people.
On the other hand, Rebecca heads to a restaurant based on the clues she finds at the previous crime scene. Renfield is in the same place, hoping to hunt the customers. The Lobo gang that Rebecca was trying to convict ambushes the place in masks. Tedward walks up to Rebecca to say how much he enjoyed her father’s death, for which his family was responsible. He tries to make her weak by manipulation. We learn that she is trying to avenge his death for all these years.
By then, Renfield, hiding behind a table, feels bad for Rebecca. So he eats a bug and goes on a killing rampage. He assists Rebecca in fighting all the criminals. She praises his sudden act of bravery, and in their further dialogue, they feel a strong connection with each other. The only thing is Renfield cannot share that he is a much older English man and kills people to serve a blood-sucking, narcissistic creature. Later, when he meets Dracula, he gets lectured not to let his fear weaken him – and to rather use it to dominate others.
Renfield later attends the support group and shares his honest feelings for the first time after being silent. Mark calls Dracula a narcissist, just like all the group members’ bosses. He asks Renfield to take back control from his master. Renfield realizes how he hasn’t focused on his needs for years and selflessly served Dracula. If he doesn’t serve his master, the master will not grow to full power. So, he decides it is his mission to make Dracula powerless.
Why does Dracula join hands with the Lobo family?
Teddy’s mother, the chair of the Lobo family – Bellafrancesca (Shohreh Aghdashloo) summons her son to hunt down Renfield since he killed all her foot soldiers. Soon after, Tedward crosses paths with Dracula, who offers to join hands to take down Renfield together. Dracula is angry at the influence the self-help group has on his useful assistant since it steers him away from senseless killings and makes him think about his actions. Besides, he does not want Renfield to create a life for himself apart from his master.
On the other hand, Renfield arrives at the police station to help them stop the Lobos. He shares how those like Rebecca, who stand against injustice, inspire him to take a similar connection. Despite the romantic connection, Rebecca pursues the case by providing a piece of evidence to her sister, Kate (Camille Chen), working in the FBI – since she can’t trust her department to help.
Why does Dracula feel betrayed by Renfield?
On the other hand, Dracula learns about Renfield’s betrayal and confronts him for feeling like he is the victim. Dracula says that he is not Renfield, but he is the victim because he was made to feel that he had wronged Renfield. He sees all that he did for his assistant – giving eternal life and making him work to be his choice and not a forced decision.
Renfield cannot respond to his master’s outrageously chaotic questioning and shows him the book that talks about how to deal with a narcissist. Suffice it to say it does not work for his master to feel remorseful about his actions.
What does Rebecca find in her investigation of recent murders?
Rebecca learns that the recently murdered people were abusive partners from the people of a co-dependency talk therapy group. Dracula, by then, enters the support group hall during one of their meetings. He terrifies all of the members and then kills them. Rebecca arrives in the room later to find Renfield sitting in between the dead bodies of all the group members.
She handcuffs Renfield and takes him out, only to realize that her associate, Chris (Adrian Martinez), is also working with Bellafrancesca. The corrupt officers from the department and Bellafrancesca surround Rebecca. The police offer her a deal, which she initially accepts, but then rejects in order to flee the scene with Renfield.
Back in his place, Rebecca opens up about her father being killed by the Lobos but still finds better ways to work on her anger. Since she thinks Renfield is a gruesome murderer, he comes clean about his true origin when he tends to Dracula’s leads. He then shares his desire to reform himself. Kate calls her and says that Renfield is possibly the most prolific serial killer and is much older than how he looks. She worries for Rebecca’s safety and offers to send her troops to get her out. But Rebecca decides to take the matter into her hands instead.
Renfield (2023) Movie Ending Explained:
Right outside the apartment, Rebecca and Renfield get ambushed by the cars of the Lobo henchmen and the corrupt police officers. Renfield regains his power by eating some bugs, and then the two fight through these corrupt people and manage to kill every one of them. While the couple escapes and drives away, Tedward brings Dracula to meet his mother. Dracula says that he wants to take over the world with the Lobos.
Rebecca calls Kate to learn that Bellafrancesca and Dracula have taken her hostage. So, she and Renfield drive through the city to collect the armory and bugs to take down the Lobo empire and rescue Kate. They storm into the Lobos’s headquarters for the mission only to learn that Dracula has empowered Tedward and a handful of gang members to have all of Renfield’s supernatural abilities.
Do Rebecca and Kate survive in the end?
After a brutal fight with the Lobos, Renfield manages to kill Tedward. Meanwhile, Rebecca heads to stop Bellafrancesca. The Lobo chair cuts down all the sunlight and invites Dracula, who is angry at her, to make his assistant think about the morality of his decisions. She soon realizes that Kate is beaten almost to death. Dracula reveals that her only chance of survival is through Dracula’s blood. He offers to provide it in exchange for her loyalty, i.e., turning her into a monster and embracing the darkness. Sensing that there is no other choice, she says Yes to him. But she only pretends to agree to trick Dracula into saving her sister.
What happens to Dracula at the end of ‘Renfield’?
Renfield barges into this room to support Rebecca. She clicks on the button to open the blindfolds so that she can injure Dracula by exposing him to the sunlight. He turns into several bats and flies away. One thing leads to another, and Renfield has a final standoff with Dracula. Renfield starts recalling Mark’s words about co-dependency. It gives him moral support to fight against his master. He beats Dracula to near death.
Dracula follows Renfield to get him killed. By then, Rebecca figures out a way to use cocaine powder that was lying around to kill Dracula with some magical words. So, Dracula gets put and elevated into a magical circle. Then, Rebecca & Renfield beat him to death, turn his corpse into pieces of cement, and then scatter him across the water system. Renfield realizes it will be difficult for Dracula to reform his body from this.
What happens to Renfield’s self-help group members?
Before killing him, Renfiled and Rebecca procure Dracula’s healing blood and use it to reform Renfield’s self-help group friends. In the end, Renfield is with Rebecca and feels empowered to start a new life, not confined by his employer’s wishes and morality.