As absurd as its title Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person tells the story of Sasha who, as a young vampire, was cursed with the capacity to have empathy for her food. Seeking alternatives to her need for blood, Sasha witnesses another teen deprived of life in Paul, a young outcast who appears on the roof of the local bowling alley. Their chance encounter will change both of their lives as the two see a mutually beneficial relationship springing from their ill-fated lives. Paul wishes to die. His life is filled with cruelty, loneliness, a lack of hobbies, and general maltreatment from everyone in his life. Meanwhile, Sasha needs to get protein from somewhere! So, while Sasha prepares to make Paul her first victim of her need for blood, the two get sidetracked as Sasha’s natural empathy moves her to give Paul a dying wish. This adventure to make the most of Paul’s final moments and allows them both to connect on a deeper level.
The film’s strengths are layered in its direction which makes the most of every single joke in this film while still balancing the seriousness of a subject like suicide. The entire cast gives really good performances and they work very well as a whole ensemble. (Though I will say that J.P., played by Garbriel-Antoine Roy, steals the show as the comedic relief in a couple of important scenes.)
All the technical wizardry needed to get us to believe these characters are vampires is well done. From the stunts to the fake blood, you can believe these vampires are functioning in our real world. The characters are also likable by being able to showcase their quirks and personalities in an endearing way to us, helping us root for them as they face hostile obstacles. The music is also really well done, fitting the tone of the film very well and being interesting to listen to. This film is a must-watch for any fans of vampires, dark comedies, and teen films. If you’re a fan of all of them, this might be your new favorite film.
Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person is now playing at TIFF ’23. For more information, click here.