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The Transfiguration

Confrontational horror against a background of social misery.​


Regie | Director  Michael O’Shea

USA | 2016 

97 minutes


With | Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Moten

The Transfiguration

Black adolescent Milo wanders around the New York Queens district like a vampire. Confrontational horror against a background of social misery.

Milo is a fourteen year old black boy from the Queens district in New York, who is bullied at school. After his mother’s suicide, he and his older brother remained in their parents’ house, where Milo has surrounded himself with vampire films on VHS.  The reason: Milo is a vampire himself. Horror film in the tradition of George Romero’s Martin also paints a painfully realistic picture of life on the fringes of society.

The Transfiguration harks back to the eighties, when filmmakers like Abel Ferrara and William Lustig invariably sought out the seediest corners of New York. The clever thing is that O’Shea, despite bit parts for Larry Fessenden and Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman, nevertheless did not make a retro-horror film with an obvious nod to the past.  His interest lies elsewhere. The rundown neighbourhood with its poverty and inequality, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it all contributes to a bleak and lonely life, far removed from the glamour or sinisterness of the average vampire film. The Transfiguration is unpolished horror, thematically related to George Romero’s Martin.