The Transfiguration (2016)

The Transfiguration
Director: Michael O’Shea
Writer: Michael O’Shea
Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe LevineAaron Moten, Larry Fessenden
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Milo (Eric Ruffin) leads a rather lonely and quiet life, keeping mostly to himself. His parents are gone, he lives with his older brother Lewis (Aaron Moten). What he spends most of his time with is vampires in all shapes and forms. But his obsession goes a little farther than most’s – Milo is actually trying to become a vampire, and that includes drinking blood. That’s when Sophie (Chloe Levine) shows up in his neighborhood. The two of them slowly build an alliance of outcasts. But will their connection change Milo’s path?

The Transfiguration has a promising concept but it unfolded way too slow for my taste. I think with more speed I would have loved it, but as is, watching it became an exhausting chore.

I loved the idea fo the film, of a young person wishing so hard to become a vampire they start to scientifically investigate how they could go about it. Basically, if you live like a vampire, it has to turn you into one. And I loved that this was set not only in an absolutely modern, urban environment, but that the protagonist is a black kid growing up in poverty and not some privileged bored type.

And I liked Milo and Sophie, separately and together. They were cute, despite Milo’s psychopathic “tendencies” and I liked watching them and getting to know them better. My emotional investment was there.

But it was slowly, slowly dragged to death as the film unfolded. The script sets up this great scenario and then doesn’t seem to know where it’s going or even where it wants to go. It doesn’t really get a story together, cites a through unnecessary (and racist) stereotypes, and with every turn the story doesn’t take, it gets stuck a little more until it feels like we’re all moving through molasses. And that’s exhausting and annoying.

I wish I liked the film better than I did. Or rather, I wish the film did the characters and the setting and the idea justice. But for that it would have simply needed a bit more speed and story.

Summarizing: there is promise here, but if that’s enough to make the film worth seeing, I can’t really say.

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