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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Humanistic Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (M) – 91 minutes

Updated: Feb 28

A vampire movie that is sensitive and darkly comedic. That is what you get when you see Humanistic Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person.

 

Sasha (Sara Montpetit) is different from other vampires in her family and from blood suckers in general, as we have come to know them.

 

She resiles at horror. Her fangs haven’t come through.

She relies upon what are called “baggies”, that is sucking on blood bags taken from kills her mother (Sophie Cadieux) and father (Steve Laplante) made.

 

Her dad is more understanding about Sasha’s failure to step up than is her mum, who is at wits’ end.

 

Eventually, they farm her out to her cousin, Denise (Noemie O’Farrell), who maintains that she will knock Sasha into shape.

 

She isn’t into giving Sasha any free blood and is in no doubt she will teach her how to stand on her own feet.

Sasha chances upon a nice guy, Paul (Felix-Antoine Benard) – a senior at high school – who works at a bowling alley and is constantly bullied.

 

For as long as he has known it, Paul has been suicidal. He wants to die.

 

Sasha watches him try to take his own life … and fail.

 

The pair connects, but Sasha can’t bring herself to put the bite on him, even though he knows she is a vampire and wants her to.

There is a lot to like about the unusual treatment given to a subject that has been around for as long as cinema.

 

I think back as far as Nosferatu, being the 1922 German silent horror film, an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

 

Co-written (with Christine Doyon) and directed by Ariane Louis-Seize, Humanistic Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person is not like that.

 

It was borne out of Louis-Seize desire to tame her anxieties about death.

She has imposed a very human and respectful element into the film, which also serves as a coming-of-age story.

 

“Yes”, Sasha is acting against type, but how does she fit into her own skin without selling out?

 

I liked the quiet confidence that Sara Montpetit injected into her role.

 

She comes across as a person wrestling with the guilt of knowing what she must do to, dare I say it, stay alive – at least as a vampire – but not wanting to hurt others.

There is a Romeo and Juliet element to the script as she meets and is attracted to Paul, who clearly has a death wish.

 

Like Montpetit, there is a restraint about Felix-Antoine Benard, which suits Paul perfectly. He comes across as a decent guy who simply doesn’t fit in to this world.

 

By contrast, Noemi O’Farrell makes it clear in her performance that Denise is driven by her blood lust, while Sasha’s aunt (Marie Brassard) is nothing if not a pragmatist.

 

I also appreciated the yin and yang of Sasha’s parents, who continually argue about how best to “handle” their recalcitrant but respectful daughter.

Humanistic Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person has impact from the get-go, when Sasha is having what appears to be an ordinary birthday celebration.

 

That is until it turns out to be anything but ordinary when the invited clown decides to try some magic.

 

Talking of magic, there is something special about the film, which I found had a tonal resonance that makes it relatable.

 

I found myself genuinely caring about Sasha and Paul.

I went on the journey with them and wondered how they would find a way out of the conundrum they both faced.

 

More fantasy than gore, Humanistic Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person struck a chord with me. It has spellbinding elements.

 

Rated M, it scores an 8 out of 10.

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