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Renfield’s ending, explained

Renfield, Nicolas Cage’s vampire comedy, has swooped into cinemas, and audiences have sunk their teeth into quite a special treat. As a modern reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Renfield follows the count’s titular servant (Nicholas Hoult) as he tries to break free of his oppressive master and live a normal life.

Written by former Rick and Morty actor/writer Ryan Ridley, this film is a smart and hilarious analysis of Renfield and Dracula’s toxic relationship, and it’s chock-full of over-the-top violence that should satisfy fans of grindhouse horror and hardcore action flicks. Now that the movie is out, here’s a breakdown of the film and what its ending means for Renfield’s future.

Note: This article features major spoilers for Renfield.

Let’s start with the beginning

Nicholas Hoult stands in a club in Renfield.
Michele K. Short/Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures

The story begins with Renfield recounting how he met Dracula in Transylvania and chose to be his familiar. After the immortal vampire made Renfield feel special, Renfield abandoned his wife and child and spent the next century delivering people for Dracula to feed on. In return, Renfield is given the ability to harness a portion of Dracula’s power by eating bugs and is occasionally healed by Dracula’s regenerative blood.

But during a modern encounter with some vampire hunters, Dracula is left severely burned by a deadly dose of sunlight. Renfield is thus sent to deliver Dracula more victims to help him regenerate and regain his full power. Now living in New Orleans, Renfield chooses to sacrifice people who have trapped their partners in toxic relationships like Dracula has done to him, which is his way of trying to do some good. But Dracula demands that Renfield bring him purer victims, such as a group of nuns and a bus full of cheerleaders (he makes it clear that their gender doesn’t matter, as he kills people indiscriminately).

Renfield nearly goes through with this terrible task, but he instead saves Officer Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina) from being murdered by the Lobo crime family, whom she had been trying to take down for years. After being praised for his heroism, Renfield begins to distance himself from his narcissistic boss upon hearing his plans for world domination. Choosing to stop giving Dracula victims to gain power from, Renfield moves into his own place and helps Rebecca convict the Lobos.

However, Dracula regains enough strength to track down Renfield and exact vengeance on him for his “betrayal.” He starts by slaughtering the support group that has helped Renfield stand up to him, and the Renfield’s presence at the crime scene leads to Rebecca arresting the man she once considered a hero. Unfortunately, she is quickly cornered by the Lobos and all the cops they have on their payroll (which is pretty much all of them). Renfield and Rebecca escape, but they are forced to face the Lobos head-on after learning they have teamed up with Dracula and kidnapped Rebecca’s sister, Kate.

How does Renfield end?


At the Lobos’ headquarters, Renfield and Rebecca face off against the family and its henchmen, who have also been given portions of Dracula’s power. Though the protagonists take these goons down in a gratuitous smackdown, Dracula tempts Rebecca to be his new familiar to revive Kate’s mutilated corpse. It seems like she has given herself to Dracula as Renfield had so long ago, but she refuses to give up her morals and engages the Dark One in a final battle alongside Renfield.

After a lengthy brawl, Renfield and Rebecca trap Dracula in a magic circle using some nearby cocaine (apparently, any powder works with the spell according to the internet, making this the only time cocaine has saved the world). This allows them to dismember and destroy Dracula’s body in almost every conceivable way to ensure his death. However, Renfield claims he’s not even sure he’s actually dead, as he’s seen his boss survive some unbelievable things. In the end, Dracula is reduced to bits encased in cement that is washed into the sewers, but the heroes still salvage enough of his blood to revive Kate and the support group.

With Dracula no more, Renfield goes on to his own life, helping other “Renfields” escape from their own codependent relationships. Though he realizes how much Dracula had controlled him, Renfield acknowledges that he wasn’t a victim, as he chose to serve Dracula and help carry out so many murders over the years. Despite his regretful past, Renfield moves forward and decides to love himself and achieve the happiness he truly deserves.

While there aren’t any post-credits scenes or explicit sequel setups, the film does end with a shot of Dracula’s blood in a pitcher at Renfield’s support group. The fact Dracula’s blood is still around could mean that someone, possibly the Lobo mob boss Bellafranscesca (Shohreh Aghdashloo), could use it to bring Dracula back to life (if she can find what’s left of him). But unless the studio greenlights a sequel, it looks like the Lord of Death will stay dead for now.

Renfield is now playing in theaters.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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