The directorial debut from Michael O’Shea hits VOD on August 8th
The Transfiguration is the tale of Milo, a young boy who has a strong desire to be a vampire and acts out his fantasy unbeknownst to all around him.
Having lost both parents (one of whose deaths may have been the catalyst for his obsessive behaviour). He now lives alone with his older brother, Lewis and spends his days wandering the streets often bullied and without friends.
Milo has a fascination with movies, exclusively about vampires. Some great old horror films get name checked including; Near Dark, Let The Right One In, and Nosferatu which adds a sense of relevancy to proceedings.
He also seems to have a morbid fascination with online clips of animal slaughter too. However, we learn that at some point in the past he was involved in some bestial cruelty himself which appears to have been practice runs for what was yet to come (something the bullies have labelled him a freak for).
After meeting a girl called Sophie, who appears to have some psychological issues herself involving self-harm etc. Maybe it’s possible that Milo can put away childish things and get on with his young life, or is his fixation just too hard to shake off?
The Transfiguration is a slow burn indie chiller that takes the vampire sub-genre and turns it on its head. In The Transfiguration, we’ve a young boy wanting to be a vampire and attempting to do what vampires do, yet accomplishing it with messy and gruesome levels of success.
You could be forgiven however for wondering just how a small boy would be able to overpower a grown man. Even with the system that he uses, that issue does ring a bell a few times when it’s on screen.
The film also positions itself so far down the downbeat scale that at times it feels like it’s suffocating. I can see the director was going for as bleak a feeling as possible, so that’s probably forgivable. There are shocks in The Transfiguration for sure, along with an attempt to add some gritty gang culture scenario of the New York streets.
Towards the end, one shock is unexpected which punctuates the final act adding a form of poetic full-stop to all that went before. One can’t deny it’s always good to see some kind of life being pumped into an old sub-genre of horror. It really would be hard to make a film of that sub-genre in its pure classical form today. I can’t imagine many would want to see the frilly Hammer vampires return after we’ve had Let The Right One In and Only Lovers Left Alive.
The Transfiguration was a welcome, if loose example, of neck-biting shenanigans. For a first direct, on a limited budget it’s worth seeing if your range for horror extends beyond the bells and whistles of the multiplex.
Strand Releasing is very proud to release the critically acclaimed horror-drama THE TRANSFIGURATION on VOD August 8th.