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My best friend is an innocent. She loves rom-coms, mindless comedies, and uplifting dramas. She likes clean, well-intentioned, and earnest heroes. I love satire, dark comedies, and I rate the films I watch by how often I gasp in fear or disgust. I like dirty, dirty characters. Dirty inside and out. But we often overlap in films we love. Some films hit that perfect balance of edgy humor and light characters so my best friend and I can watch something together and leave happy. (Do NOT watch SE7EN with a friend like this. I assure you, she leaves mad. Not at you, but at the world. Why did I do that to the friend I love? We haven’t watched a movie together since!)

I’m going to start this review by saying I am A Girl Walks Home alone At Night kind of person. My best friend is Humanist Vampire Seeks Consenting Humanist Vampire Seeks Consenting Suicidal Person. And much like me and my best friend, there are parallels and there are vast differences with the films. But first, since this is a review, I must say that Humanist Vampire can joyously be on your list of films to watch with your best friend if you have chosen a similar person in your life as mine. A Girl Walks Home alone At Night is an acquired taste.

I am not the first critic to see the parallels. However, I do want to be clear: these aren’t good for double-feature nights unless you are film students. In fact, someone, please make the comparison and critique a thesis paper. Example: Both films have a record-playing scene with a guy and a girl. Both scenes are intimate, urgent, and plagued with confusion because the girl is a hungry vampire. But one scene is charming and sweet. It’s puppy love. Awkward glances. Tentative dance moves. The other has gone down in cinematic history as a slow, moody, darkly poetic vampire love scene. In both films, these scenes are worth the price of admission alone, and the rest of the film is just gravy. In both, the girl is in power. The girl is controlling every moment. The girl is feared instead of in fear. But the girl is also feeling emotions and it’s riveting.

The plot of Humanist Vampire is as expected in a girl vampire coming-of-age film. Sasha is old enough to hunt on her own, but her vampire fangs won’t come in for any of the chosen victims. She has a debilitating shortcoming. She has empathy. So logically, she looks for a suicidal victim to ease the guilt of needing human blood to survive. It does not go as planned, so she spends most of the film with a growling stomach. But Sasha also learns a little something about love, family, and how to bury a body.

Do you see why I’m renting this with my best friend the moment I can? What a perfect cocktail of sweet teen innocence, old vampire family quirks, and blood! While the outcome is predictable, the fun is in taking the ride to the end. I adored Sasha’s dysfunctional and fully relatable family. Suicidal Paul is charming in his insecurity, strengthened by his budding relationship with his future murderer. This is not a horror film, settle in for a teen romance with fangs.

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Justina Walford

Justina Walford is a film critic on a mission to spotlight the voices of visionary women behind the camera. Coming from a background in writing for stage and screen, Justina celebrates the diverse narratives and unique perspectives women bring to film. Her reviews not only critique cinematic techniques but also amplify the importance of representation in the film industry. Justina especially enjoys the edgier side of film in the rich and diverse landscape of art created by women. She is always on the hunt for trailblazers in horror and experimental work.