DIFF 2024 Review | Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person Feels Fresh, Funny and Surprisingly Sweet

It’s a word salad of a title, but Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person does exactly what it says on the tin. A coming-of-age dark comedy more than a serious vampire horror, Ariane Louis-Seize’s film is a sweet and charming exploration of what it means to be a member of the bloodthirsty living dead all while maintaining an all too human conscience. What this film lacks in scares and arterial jets it makes up for in character and comedy.

At sixty-eight years young Sasha (Sara Montpetit) is a late bloomer for a teenage vampire. When Sasha’s fangs finally descend, her close-knit family are overjoyed but Sasha is devastated. No longer on the family supply of chilled blood bags she must now hunt and kill for herself. Sent into the care of her cousin Denise (Noémie O’Farrell), Sasha’s conscience consistently gets in the way of her attempts to feed. That’s when she meets suicidal teenager Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard). Paul agrees to let Sasha feed on him if she helps him finally get back at the bullies that wronged him over the course of one night.

With Christine Doyon as co-writer, Ariane Louis-Seize approaches the concepts of both vampirism and suicide with a light touch. Considering its budget of about three million American dollars, this French-Canadian indie doesn’t have the budget for the kind of vampiric effects most people are used to seeing. It also isn’t really interested in having Sasha scale buildings or transform into a bat either. Beyond the odd pair of fangs, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person is much more interested in the human side of things. The fact that most of the characters are vampires is merely grease for the wheels of the plot.

Paul is a likable guy, but his suicidal tendencies are often treated as a joke. There is one big moment in the second half where a silent hug with his mother speaks volumes about how far this young man has drifted from those who love him the most. Around that, though, his pain is often turned into laughs. He is introduced standing on the roof of the bowling alley he works at deciding whether to jump or not. At the moment of decision his co-worker and bully saunters along and yells “Either jump or come back to work. There’s a queue!” It sets the tone for how lightly the film treats its subject matter and though many of Humanist Vampire’s jokes land – particularly the running gag of Denise having accidentally turned some frat bro idiot into a vampire – some leave you wishing that this subject was approached a little differently.


On the other hand, the film’s energy is unmatched. It moves lightning quick skipping over any amazement Paul might have that a nocturnal subculture of vampires exists and going straight to the questions we have always wanted to ask Dracula but never got the chance. What actually happens to you in the sun? Are churches and holy water as deadly as we think? Add to that Pierre-Philippe Côté’s wonderfully synthy score, the Addams Family style makeup and the sleazy scuzz of nighttime Montreal, and the film becomes a very unique take on its bloodsucking subjects.

I can’t imagine there are too many Quebecois vampire films. There are certainly none as specific as Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person. Though slight and light, Louis-Seize’s film has plenty of style even if the approach to some of its content could have used some tweaking. Still, the chemistry of the movie can’t be denied; what it lacks in bite it makes up for in heart.

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person screened at Dublin International Film Festival 2024

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