NorthwestFEARfest returned this year, offering a lineup of 15 horror movies at the Metro Cinema. The festival ran for five days and included everything from old classics to international flicks and brand new horror films.
As part of the festival, I had the chance to see a new film, straight out of Québec with a title 2000s emo kids would appreciate: Vampire Humaniste Cherche Suicidaire Consentant (Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person). This film was directed by Ariane Louis-Seize.
The film stars Sara Montpetit as Sasha, a young vampire who is unable to kill humans after an incident involving a birthday clown getting murdered by her family which left her struggling with PTSD as a child. When her family decides that they have provided for her long enough, they cut off her food supply to try and force her into killing humans.
Hungry as she may be, though, Sasha is steadfast in her refusal to kill.
But then, through a support group for suicidal people, she meets Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard), a depressed high school teenager, who might just be the answer to all of her problems.
What ensues is a wild night in which Sasha takes Paul on a journey through Montreal in an attempt to fulfill Paul’s dying wish of getting revenge on all of his high school bullies.
Even though the film is a horror comedy, it does cover some incredibly dark content, such as suicide, PTSD, and bullying. Still, with its deadpan humour and the incredible chemistry between Montpetit and Bénard, I absolutely adored this film and would recommend it to anyone — especially any fan of “What We Do in the Shadows.”
But, the NorthwestFEARfest is so much more than just the films, though. It’s a whole experience.
In the Metro Cinema lobby, they had merchandise tables for people to browse. These included specific NorthwestFEARfest merch, along with a booth selling t-shirts with old-school horror movie characters on them, as well as, a range of horror movies on DVD.
The best part, in my opinion, though, was that after the screening of Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, they had volunteers from Canadian Blood Services set up in the lobby, just in case anyone might have been inspired by the film they just saw.
It was this kind of attention to detail that made me fall in love with the whole experience. You can tell that NorthwestFEARfest was put on by people who deeply care about what they do. Each film is hand-selected for the festival. Before each screening, they have one of the festival directors introduce the film to the audience and explain why they chose to screen it.
Overall, the festival this year was an incredible success. On the closing night of the festival, the Metro Cinema completely sold out of tickets. This doesn’t surprise me, though. Because of the attention to detail and the amount of care that went into putting on the festival, the festival experience became one to remember.
Graphic by Leanna Bressan