The Transfiguration Eric Ruffin as Milo Chloe Levine as Sophie

A teen vampire movie with a difference.

‘Vampires don’t twinkle’, declares Eric Ruffin’s Milo in The Transfiguration, dismissing the Twilight series in favour of ‘realistic’ vampire movies. He should know. A bullied black teenage orphan living in a New York tenement, he has found a murderous outlet for his vampire obsession, stalking and killing random strangers, and drinking their blood.

This psychological horror thriller is certainly dourly realistic. It is also very slow going. Yet it generates surprising sympathy for its sociopathic protagonist, whose tentative friendship with a fellow outcast, self-harming white girl Sophie (Chloe Levine), offers a glimmer of hope amid the grimness. Along the way, first-time writer-director Michael O’Shea also makes some shrewd points about pain, loss and urban violence.

Certificate 15. Runtime 95 mins. Director Michael O’Shea

The Transfiguration debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 18 January. Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Thunderbird Releasing.