Transfiguration, The

Watched an interesting little vampire movie on Netflix called The Transfiguration. Not really a vampire movie except the main character, a young, poor black teenage boy in the city, has a compulsion to drink human blood and has a fixation on finding “realistic” vampire movies that describe his condition. Twilight is not such a story… maybe Near Dark is. Possibly Shadow of the Vampire. He’s well versed… and has a bad habit of killing people on schedule.
This is a very curious, thoughtful movie that follows a kid who seems quiet and likable… until you start learning more about him. And yet it never directly villainizes him… nor does it put him on a pedestal. He is stoic and matter-of-fact… the young actor doesn’t give us a lot of strong emotions (by directing and acting choice, I believe) so we have to decide if this is the hero or the villain of the story.
There’s a sweet romance between him and a new girl in town who has her own vices. He’s never very open to her and she’s initially disturbed by his choice of first-date video (a YouTube clip of a slaughterhouse) but she seems drawn to him anyway. I really felt for them, despite his sickness, and I worried for her safety which says a lot for the movie.
It’s a tough film to get into. It doesn’t have a lot of strong emotional character beats or film tricks to manipulate your emotions in turn. It’s very matter-of-fact, you make up your own mind type film making. Strong, thoughtful, rough, bloody, and interesting. Not your average horror film. Maybe not even a horror film.
Score: 82

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