In association with the GFT
First time writer-director Michael O’Shea’s suburban vampire tale The Transfiguration tells the story of Milo (Eric Ruffin), a young boy living in a rough area of Brooklyn. With no parents, no friends and one brother, he is an outsider by his very nature. However, it quickly becomes clear that it is not just his unfortunate social situation that makes him different to everyone else. We see him sitting in bed at night watching videos of animals being killed, before he promptly goes out into the darkened streets to find his own prey.
He meets Sophie (Chloe Levine), who finds his aloofness bewilderingly attractive and who doesn’t mind joining him to watch his collection of films that seem to have come straight out of an abattoir. But when she discovers his journals and a calendar with red crosses drawn through one day every few weeks, she realises that for Milo, the fantasy which they indulge in when discussing the realistic nature of vampire films is much closer to reality. And yet, mere moments later, such revelations appear to have been forgotten, or perhaps forgiven, in a manner which makes the rest of the film incoherent and muddled.
The Transfiguration is more akin in set up and style to Let the Right One In than to Twilight, and the proven combination of nightmarish myth and modern social commentary left me hopeful that this film might just make it into the canon of great modern horror films. While there is some great handheld camerawork and a score that at times is electrifying, the film is sadly far too clever for its own good and has the impudence to knowingly criticise the much-maligned Twilight – a superior film to The Transfiguration – whilst comparing itself to Tomas Alfredson’s all-time classic which is everything O’Shea’s film is failing to be, and more.
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