The vampire has long been used as a sexual awakening metaphor, and Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (aka Vampire humaniste cherche suicidaire consentant) is no different, yet manages to put a charming new spin on the idea in this Canadian comedy-drama.
The film opens with young vampire Sasha, yet to come into her fangs, experiencing a traumatic event that leaves her with PTSD and a fear of violence. When her family stages an intervention that leaves her facing murder or starvation, she decides to follow her own moral code which leads to an adorable romance of two awkward teens struggling to find their place in unforgiving societies.
Humanist Vampire hangs on the chemistry of its leads, Sara Montpetit and Félix-Antoine Bénard, who are more than up for the challenge. Playing the anxiety-ridden teens, Montpetit’s Sasha a pacifist vampire and Antoine-Bérnard’s Paul a depressed and bullied teen, they’re both endearing in equal measure. The film plays with the idea of depression and suicide, and though it’s firmly a comedy, it handles the dark concept with grace and maturity.
The film’s narrative path may be somewhat obvious, and nothing completely new, yet the punchy dialogue and witty humour keep the film moving at a brisk pace, allowing it to hit all the right notes, yet never feel stale or clichéd. Much of this is down to the supporting cast, Sasha’s vampire family, who are having great fun with the film’s conceit.
Currently showing at Venice Film Festival, the film doesn’t have a UK release date, but for fans of vampires, coming-of-age dramas and teen romances, this ticks all the boxes and is definitely one to look out for. A triumph of the genre.
Where to Watch
Ex film teacher and frequent couch potato. I try and see at least one new release a week, but I’ve somehow got to 30 without having seen The Godfather?