Skip to main content

THE TRANSFIGURATION review


2017
Directed by: Michael O'Shea
Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, and Aaron Moten

Very seldom is a vampire film, just a vampire film and more often than not a genre film is not just a genre film. Writers and directors have used the macabre to explore ideas and comment on society in ways that mainstream films ignore. First-time feature director Michael O'Shea has used the vampire myth in THE TRANSFIGURATION to explore poverty, violence, gangs, rape, and the many facets of inner city adolescence. It's clear from the get go that O'Shea is fully aware of the blood sucking tropes that fill this particular sub-genre of horror films. He isn't nervous about subverting those standards or using them as he sees fit. It's knowledge of what has come before that allows O'Shea to make something unique that stands completely on its own.

Milo (Eric Ruffin) is an isolated teenager living in a densely populated city. An outlier that doesn't fit in with the other kids his age. They bully him both verbally and physically for being a "weirdo". The other kids are right about Milo. He is different. He has an obsession with Vampire films and enjoys watching videos of a slaughter house. He has violent thoughts and has acted out on them.

Sophie (Chloe Levine) is an awkward but kind hearted young woman who takes a genuine interest in Milo. She knows he is different, but so is she. Sophie acts as a force of change in Milo's life. A force that helps Milo to face some of the truly heinous things he has done in the name of becoming a vampire.

Ruffin and Levine both give deeply human performances that are both compelling and tragic. Choosing to set the film in our reality, O'Shea a, allows his characters to be flawed. Our protagonist is a kid who has done some terrible things but we can see that the odds were stacked against him from the start. He didn't have a chance. Parentless and left more or less on his own, Milo navigates a violent world with little to no guidance.

O'Shea composed some really powerful shots for THE TRANSFIGURATION. Imagery that is absolutely haunting but it's clear he knows how important good sound design is to genre fare. Not the cat suddenly jumping out from behind the door to get a cheap jump, sound design, but the wet sounds of blood that are unnerving. The kind of sounds that you hope to never hear, pure nightmare fuel. The opening sequence of the film has some of the best use of sound in any film this year.

While THE TRANSFIGURATION is ostensibly a film about vampirism, O'Shea injects his film with relevance and commentary to make it something far more interesting.

THE TRANSFIGURATION is currently available on all VOD platforms and Netflix. So, you've got no excuse, do yourself a favor and watch it tonight.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99