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Baby Teeth

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

by Hope Madden

Late bloomers, right? Every family has one. One parent thinks they’re going too easy on their child, the other says they’re being too hard. Is the kid spoiled? Soft? Sensitive?

Ariane Luis-Seize’s Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person understands this feeling and empathizes with both perspectives, parent and child. It’s just that, in tender young Sasha’s case, it’s a family of vampires and the trauma of the whole “clown situation” at her 10th birthday might have something to do with her delayed adulthood.

This darkly comedic take – almost sitcomesque – on vampire family matters rings of Vincent Lannoo’s 2010 Belgian mockumentary, Vampires. But here, the cynicism is offset by genuine tenderness. I mean, there’s meanness and bloodshed. But there’s also a lot of sweetness afoot.

Sasha (Sara Montpetit, Falcon Lake) can’t bring herself to kill. Can she drink a Capri Sun style blood bag left in the fridge for her? She can. But cause the actual suffering? Nope. And then she spies Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard) on the roof of a bowling alley, contemplating a jump.

Sasha is intrigued, though she may not be entirely clear as to why. But Paul might be the solution to her problem.

The pathos in Luis-Seize’s film benefits from both a widespread undercurrent of suicidal thought—both as a parent’s nightmare and a child’s misguided salvation—and an understated theme of neurodivergent love.

Montpetit and Bénard share a charming chemistry, their pairing buoyed by the harsher comedic stylings of Sasha’s cousin Denise (Noémie O’Farrell), and her douchebro sidekick (Gabriel-Antoine Roy). Sasha’s parents (Sophie Cadieux and Steve Lapiante) and her saucy aunt (Marie Brassard) help the angsty romance maintain a healthy comedic balance.

The resolution may be too tidy, but Louis-Seize draws real anxiety from the empathy her leads create. She also injects admirably dark (dare I say biting?) humor throughout, guaranteeing that good hearted sentiment never undoes the brilliant nastiness we witness in those early moments with Rico the Clown.