By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
In 1978, George Martin released Martin, about a disaffected young man who thinks he’s a vampire, which may all be in his mind, but which doesn’t stop him from murdering a few folks and drinking some blood as if he was.
Kinda makes you a vampire regardless, no?
The Transfiguration is about a disaffected young man who thinks he’s a vampire, which may all be in his mind, but which doesn’t stop him from murdering a few folks and drinking some blood as if he was, except it’s set in inner-city New York.
Okay, that comparison may be a bit reductive. Michael O’Shea’s film does try to tease out a psychology for its main character distinct from that film, and delivers good-looking imagery in that indie handheld magic hour shooting style that is so much easier to replicate these days with the level of technology that is readily available, but which is pretty nonetheless.
O’Shea’s script is predominantly an awkward marriage of vampire tropes and Sundance-y indie/romance/hard times cliche. Either half of this film (the modern day vampire half and the life is hard in the ghetto half) would be at home before or after midnight at Sundance, and both play out exactly as predictably as anyone who’s seen their fair share of these would expect- down to acoustic guitar song over the credits.
The Magical Pixie Fuckup Girl that takes a shine to this creepy, much younger, stranger boy to the point that she single-handedly drives their romance is such an unnecessary trope and unbelievable element to this film that it probably sours any potential advantages this setting could have offered. I can’t wrap my head around why she existed in this film at all except to present a relentlessly cheerful portrayal of a cutter and victim of abuse.
After meandering in no particular direction but that ill-conceived romance for an hour and fifteen minutes or so, The Transfiguration decides it now wants to get all bittersweet and dramatic on its way to its conclusion. This “life is tough on the streets” downbeat wrap-up is every bit as out of place as the chick or the brother who sits on his nice couch in their surprisingly roomy projects apartment and watches TV all day.
While maybe you can applaud The Transfiguration for its setting and central character, you’re going to be much happier if you watched Martin again instead.
The Transfiguration (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for vampire reference
Take a Drink: for every disturbing video or image
Take a Drink: whenever Milo is hazed or picked on
Take a Drink: whenever Milo just creeps in general
Do a Shot: for every vampire attack