Michael O’Shea, USA
Director Michael O’Shea opens his first feature film by revealing teenager Milo (Eric Ruffin) as he is being observed through a public toilet door sucking the neck of a guy sitting limp with his pants down. Milo is a vampire, following notebooks full of rules and diagrams that he studiously prepares. He avidly watches vampire films and videos of animals being slaughtered. On the full moon of each month he selects a victim for his feeding frenzy. But on most days, Milo is a well-mannered young man who is bullied at school and in his neighborhood by a gang. He lives with his brother Lewis (Aaron Moten) in a crumbling high rise. One afternoon Milo sees a lovely girl, Sophie (Chloe Levine) on an abandoned couch in a field with several guys. He joins her after she is left alone and they become friends. She lives with her abusive grandfather in the same building as Milo. When they become lovers she stays with Milo and Lewis until she discovers the disturbing vampire diaries. But Milo has a plan. He wants Sophie to be free of her grandfather and the neighborhood to be safe from the gang. And he also seeks to be free from himself and his bloodthirsty cravings. Ruffin adeptly captures both Milo’s brutality and compassion in an impressive performance. Levine is sweetly lost innocence and hope. Not your average bite fest, the clever plot twists keep you staked to the screen.