Låt den rätte komma in / Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
First of all, what a gorgeous film. Shouldn't be surprising since it was shot by Hoyte van Hoytema (who appears to have replaced Wally Pfister as Nolan's DP of choice, and also shot Her and the bad-but-very-pretty Spectre), who uses the peri-urban Swedish setting to great effect. There's something deeply unsettling about... well, a lot, really, but my first thought is an early scene in which Eli's helper is trying to drain someone in a forest, and you can see the cars in the background : the scene looks like it should be happening in the middle of nowhere, but it isn't (and as it turns out, random people are around). Then there's the simple magic of the two main actors faces: I guess pallor allows for some beautifully creepy imagery, especially once you get some blood in there, and we sure do get some.
The mood it sets in is what makes the film work. It feels like a modern-day Grimm tale, but almost does so... casually ? It plays around with vampire tropes in a playful way without drawing too much attention to it (well, except for the whole "coming in" bit I suppose). Now, I'm not entirely sure what the vampirism is standing for here. Sexuality is always the obvious one, but given that this a coming of age story about a 12-year old (well, two), that's not quite as prominent an aspect as it might otherwise be. It's there, certainly, but there's really no seduction here, and that's usually a big characteristic of vampires.
It's a bit of a struggle writing this because, while I enjoyed it a whole lot, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. Usually this would leave me feeling unsassified, like the film didn't fullfill its promise, but here I somehow find it satisfying nonetheless. I suppose mood is enough sometimes.