Wow, that is NOT what I expecting going into Michael O’Shea’s debut film The Transfiguration. This one isn’t your typical vampire movie by any stretch, it’s actually more of a drama/coming-of-age story, but I feel like that’s what actually makes it one of the better vampire movies I’ve seen in a while.
The story follows Milo (Eric Ruffin), a teenager who is fascinated by vampires and vampire lore- so much so that he thinks he is one. Living with his older brother after the death of their mother, Milo soon meets Sophie (Chloe Levine), a similarly troubled teen, and the two quickly form a relationship that begins to alter Milo’s usual way of thinking.
Let me reiterate to you reading that this isn’t your usual vampire fare, it’s definitely a slower paced film and doesn’t act like the vampire flicks that we’re accustomed to- although many of those are referenced right out at points in the film (Martin, Let The Right One In, Nosferatu, and even Twilight). It isn’t without it’s moments of violence and blood, though, so there is something to appeal to you gorehounds, especially in the moments where Milo acts out his…vampiric impulses. Speaking of Milo, the acting from Ruffin as the lead was great throughout; despite the fact that he’s a very shy and withdrawn character, you grow attached to him and his “plight” even though it causes the death of people. Chloe Levine in the role of Sophie is also right up there, although you don’t get much backstory from her, you’re given just enough to understand her bond with Milo.
I feel like there’s a lot of appreciation that should be given to this movie and O’Shea’s ability to tell this story so well. The character’s are tragic but loveable, the story is slow but keeps you invested from beginning to end, and the movie holds more than just a vampire tale; I feel like there’s more that can be taken from it, but it’s something you’ll need to digest for a while afterwards to figure it all out exactly.
THE TRANSFIGURATION is directed by Michael O’Shea and stars Eric Ruffin and Chloe Levine. It is available now on VOD courtesy of Strand Releasing.