Friday, June 21, 2024

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Here is another reminder goths are annoying and Gen Z’ers are helpless. As if we could forget, right? In this case, it is true for the undead as well. Sasha is a young vampire, but she refuses to feed herself, because she of her unusually acute empathy. She is sort of like a vampire vegan, but the bags of blood that sustain her obviously comes from someone. Sasha must figure out her diet in Ariane Louis-Seize’s Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, which opens today in New York.

Sasha immediately demonstrated prodigious musical talent, but her fangs were late coming in. Even now, they only come out under extreme stress. She refuses to hunt, so her parents send her to live with her cousin Denise, who behaves like a vampire on a CW series. Cut off from bagged blood, Sasha considers killing herself, but she wanders into a suicidal support group instead. That is where she meets Paul.

Figuring out Sasha’s secret, the bullied teenager assures her that he would be just fine letting her drain his body of blood. Ethically, Sasha thinks she could maybe handle that, but first she wants Paul to enjoy a little karmic payback.

Humanist Vampire Etc
is probably the moodiest vampire film since Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but it is not nearly as stylish. Amirpour’s film has a noir vibe entirely missing from this French-Canadian tale of undead angst. It also lacks the quietly expressive charisma of Sheila Vand.

Instead, both Sara Montpetit and Felix-Antoine Benard are relentlessly sullen and sulky. Frankly, they are more lifeless than undead. Unfortunately, Noemie O’Farrell’s Cousin Denise is not nearly vampy enough to compensate for their blandness.

For a vampire movie,
HVSCSP is also a very small stakes affair. Most of the people who die probably have it coming, but it is nothing like EC Comics. It is not really horror, nor is it a comedy. Louis-Seize & Christine Doyon’s screenplay never hits any memorably subversive or absurdist notes either.

is a solid elevator pitch, but the execution is too modest. This just isn’t the kind of film that will stick with viewers, even if they want to like it. Just not enough to recommend, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person opens today (6/21) in New York at the Quad.