By Steve V. Rodriguez
THE TRANSFIGURATION is a gritty and modern day Vampire tale filled with depth, heart and morality. Not for the faint-hearted as the film has plenty of blood, gore and a looming darkness that hovers over the film. Not in a depressing and slow tone, but more of a thriller and mesmerizing unveiling that should lure viewers to want to figure out the direction the film is headed.
Set in New York, the film centers around an African American teenage boy named Milo who lives with his older brother in the projects. Milo’s brother Lewis is the guardian for Milo who spends a majority of his days as a couch potato who can barely muster enough energy to pick his head off the couch to notice when his brother comes and goes. Besides the therapist/social worker that Milo checks in with, the boy lives a fairly isolated life spending most of his free time reading and watching older vampire films, videos and books. As Milo is absorbed in his predominately isolated world consumed with disturbing actions he sets out on that are premeditated, his world is shaken a bit when he meets a new female neighbor, Sophie, played by Chloe Levine, who is also suffering from her own personal demons. The budding friendship, curiosity and romance ensues, but is it enough to change the course of their troubled actions?
An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Michael O’Shea’s debut feature is a methodical and thriller like approach to film, utilizing an age old fascination with vampires. At one point in the film Sofie asks Milo if he’s watched shows and films like “Twilight” and “True Blood” to which Milo snuffs off as lame vampire depictions made by Hollywood. It’s clear that O’Shea is offering his opinion through his character Milo which also speaks to the gritty, character developed film that O’Shea had made. There is a nice balance of disturbing elements to the film with a restraint to less is more when it comes to dialogue. O’Shea has his actors show through their realistic actions and curiosities rather than flood the film with too much dialogue. Notions of a lack of parenting or lack of any positive role models, shown in the film, makes one wonder how an under developed adolescent can often direct his or her energies negatively, when all they see is darkness, bullying and pain. “The Transfiguration” features strong acting especially by it’s lead, Eric Ruffin who takes the viewer on a disturbing, yet fascinating tale.
“The Transfiguration” opens Friday, April 7 (Angelika) in New York with a Los Angeles and national release to follow. Watch the trailer below and follow @TransfigMovie or their site: www.Thetransfigurationfilm.com