Every school had its odd kid, you know the one who had an unhealthy interest in Hitler or the one who never washed or the one who had a worryingly large collection of ‘specialist interest European art’ or porn as everyone else called it. But few, if any, had someone who believed they were a vampire to such a degree that they murder someone in a public toilet cubicle and start noshing down on the arterial vein slurping away like George Best at a free bar which is exactly how ‘The Transfiguration’ begins with Milo (Eric Ruffin) an orphaned school boy now cared for by his older brother who is oblivious to his younger brothers nocturnal neck noshing. Milo is something of a loner, verbally abused by others on the rough estate where he lives though hardly surprising when all he watches is vampire movies and graphic YouTube footage from an abattoir – he’s a serial killer in the making. That is until Sophie (Chloe Levine) strays into his life as another dispossessed and orphaned girl violently abused by her grandfather and allows herself to be used sexually by all the school boys – it’s no surprise that she self harms too – which is possibly why Milo likes her presumably seeing her as a light snack rather than a friend. They befriend each other and find solace in each other’s solitary status. But inevitably Sophie finds out about his blood lust but not before several unfortunates cross his path which all ends unpleasantly including a teenager who get Milo to lead him to some drug dealers only for it go to horribly wrong.
Quite why Milo thinks he’s an vampire is anyone’s guess because after a kill and some plasma guzzling he’s understandably violent sick so you’d think he’d realise he’s not a vampire pretty quickly but presumably it’s the old adage if at first you don’t suck blood then try, try, try again…….and then be sick. But try again he does sometimes in an horrifically shocking manner which is accompanied by some stunningly effective music . But those moments certainly punctuate a film which flags and by half way it gets slooooooooow until a truly shocking punch to the gut ending. But that doesn’t take away from the leads especially Chloe Levine whose performance of a disengaged girl whose life is depressingly directionless is beautifully nuanced.
This is director Michael O Shea’s debut feature and there are some compelling moments which shows what he’s capable of if he could just tighten up his scripts.
Here’s the trailer……