The Transfiguration


Combining gritty urban realism with vampire movie name checks galore, The Transfiguration (selected for Cannes' Un Certain Regard) tells the story of a teenage loner with a problem —he has a thirst for blood—and the slightly older girl who befriends him. With a collection of vampire memorabilia and journals where he tracks plans for his next victims, he is both obsessive and methodical. A chance encounter with a white girl named Sophie, who has moved into his building, leads to an awkward friendship of sorts with Milo unveiling some of his secrets to her, including his favorite vampire films (he's partial to Romero's Martin (1978) and Let the Right One In (2008) as she reveals her own personal problems, and together they try to help one another with their respective demons. Milo's cinematic references reveal some of O'Shea's predilections as well, as the film is more concerned with atmosphere and character development than graphic violence. To that end, The Transfiguration features beautifully modulated performances by Eric Ruffin as the pensive and deliberate Milo and Chloe Levine as the sensitive and damaged Sophie. As Milo lays a plan to remove the elements that threaten them both, The Transfiguration offers a pathway towards hope that leads its characters past and through all of the bloodletting.—Rod Armstrong

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Michael O'Shea graduated from film school at SUNY Purchase in the '90s and wrote numerous scripts while working as a bouncer, cab driver, and computer repair technician. Having trouble getting his films financed, he switched to writing horror films, commenting, "Suddenly, I had this new language and was having a conversation with other horror movies that you can sort of talk with and use tropes from. It was insanely freeing." Having finished The Transfiguration, he applied to Cannes on a lark, and the film was selected for its Un Certain Regard program in 2016.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 97
  • Director(s): Michael O’Shea
  • Producer(s): Susan Leber
  • Writer(s): Michael O’Shea
  • Cinematographer(s): Sung Rae Cho
  • Editor(s): Kathryn J. Schubert
  • Music: Margaret Chardiet
  • With: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Clifton Moten

Print Source:
Strand Releasing
6140 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232