Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with Dracula. I even used to tell people that he was my father and I had a pretty convincing argument as to why – having been adopted from Romania and not knowing who my biological father actually was, it could totally be true! So when I heard about this new take on the infamous vampire and his familiar, I knew I had to check it out.

Renfield (Nicholas Holt), the titular character in our story, is tired of doing Dracula’s (Nicolas Cage) bidding after countless years. Wanting to make it on his own, he finds a new apartment, changes his look and even strikes up an unlikely friendship with cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina). But Renfield’s dreams of starting over won’t be easy, not only thanks to his blood-thirsty boss, but also because of a mix up with drug lord Teddy Lobo (Ben Schwartz) and his family.

What worked really well here was the over the top gore. While some elicited some ews from me, it fit with the tone of the movie and made for a really fun time. I have to give props to the make up team because they absolutely aced it. Going hand in hand were the fight sequences which were just as out there, especially when Renfield would possess his master’s powers and acquire some crazy killer moves.

I’ve seen Holt in a variety of roles over the years and think he’s a fine actor. He carried this film on his back and delivered a solid performance. Cage, on the other hand, was the scene stealer. He’s such an enigmatic actor and you could tell that he gave his all to this performance. I wish we’d seen more of him.

Although at times it seemed as if the film didn’t really know what genre it was trying to be, I thought it was still an overall fun time. The camp and bloodshed were highlights though I think it could have been even darker and it still would have worked just as well. That being said, I had a good time and would not be opposed to seeing more of these characters adventures in the future.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️

The Menu

Welcome to Hawthorne.

The most exclusive restaurant around, only a select few are chosen to come and dine. On this particular occasion are couple Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) as well as food critic Lilian (Janet McTeer) and her editor Ted (Paul Adelstein), wealthy couple Richard (Reed Birney) and Anne (Judith Light), movie star George (John Leguizamo) and his assistant Felicity (Aimee Carrero) and business partners Soren (Arturo Castro), Dave (Mark St. Cyr) and Bryce (Rob Yang). What starts off as an evening of excitement soon takes a dramatic turn. It will be a night none of them will ever forget.

Where do I even begin with The Menu?

My expectations for this were sky high. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that I will gobble up everything and anything that Anya Taylor-Joy touches. She always chooses roles that are not what you’d expect and I love that about her. In such a large ensemble, she held her own and was mesmerizing the whole time. But the real stand out was, unsurprisingly, Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). His performance was unlike anything I had ever seen before. At some moments he was terrifying while others charming and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to hate him or love him. All I knew was that I was completely enthralled with everything he said or did. Another stand out was Elsa (Hong Chau). I’d never seen her before, but she was such a great addition.

I liked how the movie started off as one thing and became something else entirely as it went on. The way in which it was broken down into various sections – the amuse bouche, first course, second course etc – was absolutely genius. Neither parts were too short nor too long and each was integral to the progression of the story. Naturally as it continued, it only grew more and more insane.

Although I’d gone into the cinema having just eaten dinner, my stomach grumbled as each meal was presented to the guests. Some items I had never seen or heard of before and they looked amazing. One of my hobbies is to visit new restaurants and try exotic foods, so this was right up my alley. Just don’t be comparing me to Tyler please.

With all this said, The Menu has become one of my favorites of the year. The comedy, insanity and mouth watering dishes was something I never knew I needed in my life. The way in which it perfectly encapsulated our society and the way we obsess over things was spot on. I will be thinking about and singing this movie’s praises for a very long time.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥