Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

There is so much to say about Ariane Louis-Seize’s HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON that I’m not sure I can encapsulate all of it within the confines of this review. This French-Canadian production has everything. Heart. Laughs. Vampires. All of it wrapped in the shell of teenaged-ish angst and self-discovery storyline that reminds me of why I choose to primarily work with independent films.

The story of a young vampire named Sasha seems straightforward at first, with her parents worried that her vampire teeth aren’t emerging when they should, and they’re attempts at being supportive to her falling short. Since Sasha won’t hunt for her own food, she gets it delivered to her by her father in blood bags they affectionately call “baggies” which is an adorable way to refer to a bag of gore. As Sasha grows older this becomes more of a burden to her family, and she is sent to go live with Denise, a young but violent vampire who delights in tricking men into giving up their lives for her. Sasha’s parents hope that her more severe methods will create an environment where Sasha will HAVE to hunt for food, rather than relying on it being delivered to her.

In the second storyline of this film, we have young Paul, a perpetually bullied student who works part-time at the snack bar of the local bowling alley and is called Nacho-Man by most of the other kids. Aside from having a great relationship with his mother, Paul is another outcast that sees suicide as the only escape from his daily beatings and terrorizing by his classmates. Upon the discovery of Sasha, and her vampiric nature, the two form a bond and an understanding that he’ll give up his life so that she can feed. The rest of the film builds towards affirming their friendship and possible romantic relationship under the guise of hanging out so that Paul can fulfill his “dying wish” but is really just an excuse for Sasha to delay feeding.

The film hits all the right notes story-wise. It doesn’t submerge itself in vampire lore or require the audience to remember every fact they know about vampires to be able to enjoy Sasha’s journey. It takes some of the humorous aspects of comedies like WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS but doesn’t try to be derivative of it. The comedic notes hit more like other outcast comedies like JUNO or NICK AND NORA’S INFINITE PLAYLIST. The movie looks and sounds wonderful, has a great soundtrack, and I appreciated the addition of subtitles, not because of the French language spoken in the movie, but because I didn’t want to miss one word of the dialogue, which was delightful.

The actors in HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON are fantastic in both their dramatic and comedic interpretations of their characters. Sara Montpetit as Sasha is an absolute revelation of both a woman of conviction and of a sweet teenager trying to find her own place in the world despite the meddling of her family. Félix-Antoine Bénard’s Paul is an awkward dopey, mopey, character that you can’t help but fall for. His heart is in all the right places but can’t seem to get out of his own way long enough to overcome the constant dread that persists in his life. There isn’t a moment when the two main characters are on the screen together where you don’t want them to fall in love and run away to some other fictional reality where all their problems are solved.

The way the film handles family is done with a comedic touch but is also done tenderly. Both Sasha and Paul come from good homes, and their problems don’t stem from their conflicts there, but from within themselves, which is even more heartbreaking that while both families are supportive in their own ways, ultimately, it’s Sasha and Paul who need to solve their respective issues themselves. The movie leaves the door open for more adventures with Sasha and Paul, but until then, I’ll just watch this film over and over again to get my fix.

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
Reviewed as part of the 2024 Boston Underground Film Festival

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