What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: Renfield, Barry, and More

This week's recommendations include a horror-comedy, the highly anticipated final season premiere of an award-winning series, an acclaimed anime, and more.

by | April 13, 2023 | Comments


Vampires will be the only things that suck with these viewing options, and you can bet on it. Not only do we have Nicolas Cage as Dracula, we’ve got the final season premiere of everyone’s favorite hitman-turned-drama student, an exorcism movie based on a real person, some kickass anime, and an RT25 celebration pick that’ll make you get up and dance.

Bringing sharp fangs and pale skin to a theater near you is the comedy horror film, Renfield.

One big reason to check this one out is that it takes characters from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula and sets them in modern-day New Orleans. Telling this new story is a loaded cast that includes the Nicolas Cage as our boy Dracula, Nicholas Hoult as the title character Renfield, and others like Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz in supporting roles.

Critics are somewhat divided on the film, but its cast is a high point, and as Top Critic Liz Shannon Miller from Consequence notes, “Renfield knows exactly what it wants to achieve and does so effectively, anchored by its lead performances.”

Where to Watch: In theaters

Firing off its fourth and final season on HBO this week is the killer dramedy series, Barry.

First off, if you haven’t seen the first three Certified Fresh seasons — and we’re talking all between 98% and 100% on the Tomatometer — you’re gonna want to do that. Thirty-minute episodes, fun premise, easy watch.

Once you do, you’ll understand how it’s managed to earn 44 Emmy noms over three seasons, including Outstanding Comedy Series all three years, and then you’ll run to your TV for what has been declared the final season, which we know begins with Barry in prison and dealing with the emotional aftermath of the explosive season 3 finale.

And besides being the final chapter, what makes this season even more enticing is that the show’s Emmy-winning star Bill Hader also stepped behind the camera to direct every episode — something he only did occasionally prior to this.

Where to Watch: HBO, HBO Max

Another option that might awaken something deep inside you is The Pope’s Exorcist, opening in theaters.

The No. 1 reason to see this one is that it’s inspired by a real person: Father Gabriele Amorth, a famous Italian priest who performed over 100,000 exorcisms for the Vatican (yes, over 100,000). The movie pulls from Amorth’s various memoirs, and slapping on that white collar to play him is Russell Crowe in what’s being described as his first lead role in a horror film.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Also heading to theaters this week is the Japanese animated adventure flick Suzume. From famed anime director Makoto Shinkai, this one is about a high school girl and a mysterious man who work to prevent various disasters across Japan. And one of the people lending his voice is Hokuto Matsumura, who’s also a member of the Japanese pop group,SixTONES.

But if the sheer draw of anime and a pop idol isn’t quite enough for you, how about the fact that Makoto Shinkai’s previous two films, Your Name and Weathering With You, were both Certified Fresh at 98% and 92% on the Tomatometer, and Suzume is currently also Fresh at 94%? In fact, this movie opened in Japan in November of last year and became their fourth-highest grossing film of the year.

Where to Watch: In theaters

And finally, as part of our RT25 celebration, we have the 1983 movie Flashdance. It’s actually the 40th anniversary of this cult classic romance drama — making it the perfect time to watch — which stars Jennifer Beals as a passionate young dancer looking to become a professional ballerina.

It marked the first collaboration between legendary producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, who would go on to co-produce films like Beverly Hills Cop, Bad Boys, and The Rock. And ultimately some of the music video-esque sequences featured in this film influenced other big movies of the decade, like Footloose, Purple Rain, and Top Gun.

It may be Rotten on the Tomatometer, but critics loved Beals’ performance and fans loved the whole thing. And sometimes the soundtrack can be a real draw too — in this case, the film had two songs up for Best Original Song at the Oscars, and won for the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” If you want that feeling too, you’ve just gotta watch it.

Where to Watch: Vudu

Hopefully our recommendations helped you fill up your entertainment calendar this weekend. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you watched, whether it was on this list or not!

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