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Quirky “Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person” Engages but Still Needs Something More

Written by: Patrick Howard | June 20th, 2024

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (Ariane Louis-Seize, 2023) 3 out of 5 stars

A film titled Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person with a runtime of a little over 90 minutes offers a lot of condensed narrative promise. French director Ariane Louis-Seize (making her feature debut) tackles sensitive topics like depression and suicide while crafting a touching coming-of-age story that incorporates familiar tropes from vampire lore.

All of these elements come together when young vampire Sasha (Sara Montpetit, White Dog), is thrust into an existential crisis after she and her family discover that her relationship with humans fuels compassion instead of hunger. Understanding that she will need to find blood on her own to survive, Sasha crosses paths with Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard), a teenage boy who suffers from depression and is thinking of ending his own life. Can these two work together to find common ground that benefits the both of them?

l-r: Félix-Antoine Bénard and Sara Montpetit in HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON ©Drafthouse Films

First off, despite cultural differences, Louis-Seize handles the touchy topics of self-harm and suicide with the necessary tact and care. These topics are never depicted in an exploitative or grotesque manner that aims for surface-level thrills. Instead, the subjects are used to enrich the relationship between Sasha and Paul. In addition, Montpetit and Benard capture the blossoming but unsurprising awkwardness of new love, and never lose sight of the inherent creepy presence of a vampire. It’s clear that these two saw the commonality between vampires and teenagers when it comes to a quiet, lurking night owl with tendencies to internalize emotions.

What works in the film’s favor is its dedication to Sasha and Paul. It never fully meets the quirky and darkly funny vibes that the title suggests, however; the pacing is methodical and never feels interested in speeding up for a goofier tone. Still, in spite of Louis-Seize’s love for her characters, she makes decisions in the third act that left me wanting more. The approach to Paul’s interest in Sasha and how she can help his desire for death is interesting and mature in the first two acts, but the final moments pull the metaphorical rug out from under the audience and hastily try to fulfill the kind of offbeat humor you would find in a broad teen comedy.


Patrick Howard has been a cinephile since age seven. Alongside 10 years of experience in film analysis and criticism, he is a staunch supporter of all art forms and believes their influence and legacy over human culture is vital. Mr. Howard takes the time to write his own narrative stories when he can.

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