The Transfiguration Flips Horror On Its Head

Director Michael O’Shea has brought horror fans everywhere a new addition to the compendium of Vampire love stories…or has he?

This Cannes Film Festival pick makes exquisite use of what I have always loved in horror- ambiguity. Milo (Eric Ruffin) is a troubled high school boy with a penchant for old horror movies, dead animals, and blood. The trouble isn’t so much in the interest of these things alone, but in his pursuit of such interests. It is evident that Milo has little he can depend on in his life, and prefers his own company on his mysterious outings.

Milo and his brother Lewis (Aaron Clifton Moten) live alone, estranged by some personal barrier amidst a three bedroom apartment.  Only when he encounters Sophie (Chloe Levine), a strange girl with a demeanor stranger than his own, does his life involve more than stoic responses and Nosferatu.

The audience is left to form their own opinions about every established aspect of the film, moral and otherwise. There were times when I found myself walking along with Milo, wondering if he was truly a violent child, if vampires were real, and if he would ever leave behind gangs and bullies in pursuit of something that would make him happy. How many movies do you remember left you guessing, discussing, and contemplating? Milo’s is a largely unexplored narrative, even without considering a taste for blood. This kind of depth and dimension in characters is practically unseen in the genre, and the care taken with the development throughout the film utterly gripped me.

The least relatable thing in this movie isn’t vampirism, but a scene in which a man, upon hearing strange SUCKING NOISES coming from a bathroom stall lowers himself on his hands and knees to see underneath it. Despite this brief departure from reality, I found myself deep into the life of Milo and yearning for his own wants, needs, and curiosities. The Transfiguration demands your undivided attention for its gradual descent, and when your journey ends, you find yourself- and everyone involved- changed.

This film will be released everywhere on Video-On-Demand August 8th, from Strand Releasing.


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