Director: Michael O'Shea
Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Moten
Genre: Drama, Horror
Country of Origin: USA 2016 97 mins. (15)
Un Certain Regard 2016 Cannes International Film Festival
Released by Thunderbird Releasing
Michael O'Shea's debut feature which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Un Certain Regard section, opens with an attention grabbing scene. The noises in the men's toilet cubicle isn't two men feasting on sex. It's a blood feast being drawn from a victim. With time a few more corpses litter the way.
14-year-old Milo (Eric Ruffin), introverted and bullied has a thing for vampires. He keeps a collection of VHS horror movies and a hidden cash stack from his victims in his bedroom. His older brother Lewis (Aaron Clifton Moten), traumatised by the death of his parents and his time in the army remains glued to the settee and the TV. And then Sophie (Chloe Levine), a lonely, troubled, orphaned girl who cuts herself comes into Milo's life. Hovering between his tough neighbourhood in Queens, New York, Rockaway beachfront walks with Sophie and Central Park awaiting a victim amongst the down-and-outs, Milo's well versed in the do's and don't's of the hunt and the kill. He's a teen alone with his demons, a shrink's dream.
Will there be a transfiguration? Can Milo shed his demons as he vomits his victim's blood and offer a way out for Sophie? What is Milo, a blood loving sociopath or a 'vampire'?
Eric Ruffin offers a new slant to his oddball 'vampire', you won't get through to me without a blood feast, Margaret Chardiet's spot on electronic score effectively kicks in each killing and Sung Rae Cho's wide shot exteriors add a sense of solitude. A confident and interesting, slow burn debut feature that slips somewhat after it's initial opening as it tries a bit too hard for a downbeat indie touch.