This first-time feature from writer-director Michael O’Shea is both self- and genre-aware – though repeatedly acknowledging its superior forebears in the vampire genre does not equate to doing anything interesting with it.
Faring best in its moments as a sweet romance between “vampire” Milo and the charming Sophie, Transfiguration is occasionally intriguing. Sadly, attempts at deeper characterisation remain frustratingly opaque and muddled, much like the film’s meaning and narrative arc.
Most goodwill earned by Transfiguration will be dashed for many viewers by its gloomy, tonally jarring, and therefore unwarranted conclusion. There’s little here that’s not been done better before.
While O’Shea’s writing and Ruffin’s indecipherable performance make Milo a difficult character to know, by the final third you’ll start to believe in him. Don’t stick around.
CAST: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Moten
DIRECTOR: Michael O’Shea
WRITER: Michael O’Shea
SYNOPSIS: Milo, a “vampire” and outcast in New York, is forced to adapt his lifestyle when a potential victim becomes a romantic partner.
The Transfiguration was screened in Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.