Whilst today’s pop-culture depictions of vampires seem to be more about Twilight and The Vampire Diaries than Nosferatu and Bram Stoker, there’s room for a wide array of interpretations of the legend. The Transfiguration riffs off Near Dark and Let the Right One In. However, whilst the fascination centres-on the vampire myth, this is only a sheen. Michael O’Shea film is more coming-of-age drama than genre film.
Milo (Eric Ruffin) is an orphan who lives with his truculent brother (Aaron Moten) in a rough neighbourhood. A lone figure, Milo loses himself in vampire lore whilst trying to evade the attentions of a local gang. When he meets fellow loner Sophie (Chloe Levine), they form a bond over their common interest and shared isolation. However, Milo’s obsession and fantasies become increasingly desperate and violent, which threatens to sever their blooming relationship.
The Transfiguration is a meditation on adolescence and loneliness. Ruffin is perfect in the central role. O’Shea leans heavily on him and he delivers a performance steeped in maturity and pathos. Levine acts as a perfect foil; bringing out the human side in Milo and opening up the possibility of a brighter future. The Transfiguration is an offbeat and studied take on grief, growing-up and trying to find your place in the world.
The Transfiguration is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Thunderbird Releasing on Monday 14 August.