'Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person' Brings Fresh Blood to Familiar Themes Directed by Ariane Louis-Seize
Starring Sara Montpetit, Félix-Antoine Bénard, Steve Laplante, Sophie Cadieux, Marie Brassard, Noémie O'Farrell
Published Oct 13, 2023The coming-of-age story is a well-worn tale, but one that still has a lot of mileage if a filmmaker can find a new angle. Director Ariane Louis-Seize has found one with her new film Humanist Vampire Seeing Consenting Suicidal Person, casting the existential angst and ennui of being a teenager onto the eternal youth of a 68-year-old vampire who refuses to kill humans.
Sasha's (Sara Monpetit) fangs have never come in because, the first time her parents (played by Steve Laplante and Sophie Cadieux) presented her with a human to kill, it sparked compassion instead of bloodlust. Several decades later, Sophie's parents have sent her to live with her ravenous Aunt Denise (Noémie O'Farrell) to shock her into being a murderous creature of the night.
Seeking an ethically pure way to take a human life, she meets Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard), a relentlessly bullied and suicidal teenager. He consents to being murdered, but they get sidetracked on a quest to correct some wrongs and confront his abusers.
This night of adventure, of course, proves formative for both of them. While it will ultimately be up to each viewer to decide how they feel about how the stories resolve morally, there's no denying that it's an adventure worth going on.
Landing somewhere between a gothic Wes Anderson film, What We Do in the Shadows and every teen coming-of-age story ever, the vibes of Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person are unique, quirky and fun in a way that never wears out its welcome.
The cast is enjoyable, with brief but memorable turns from Laplante, Cadieux and Bérnard, while O'Farrell steals many of the scenes as as a bored psychopath. Still, it's ultimately Montpetit who carries the film, somehow capturing both the apathy of teenagehood and the sensibilities of a near-70-year-old woman. It's a fun performance that solidifies her reputation as one of Canada's up-and-coming talents to watch. (Game Theory Films)