Action, Christmas, Comedy, Horror

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

0 Comments 17 December 2010

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) Rated R
Oscilloscope Laboratories
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Director: Jalmari Helander

by James Klein

Every Christmas I try and find obscure or strange holiday films. I make it a mission to watch some non-typical holiday fare at this time. Sure, I enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street but if I had my pick between those films or Gremlins and Santa Claus Conquerors the Martains, I’ll go with the later. And for those of you who would do the same, you may want to check out a strange film from Finland called Rare Exports.

In the mountains of Finland, an expedition finds buried deep in the ground their own Christmas miracle: Santa Claus. Buried there for hundreds of years, this Santa isn’t the cute cuddly jolly ol Saint Nick. He’s Santa from the original folk lore who kidnaps bad children in his sack and eventually tortures them for all their bad deeds they did over the year.

A single father and his son live in a nearby home in the mountains. The father has a wolf trap set up outside and on Christmas Eve morning they find out that the trap was sprung. When they look inside they don’t find a wolf at all. They find Santa Claus. Quickly taking him inside and fixing up his wounds, Santa seems obsessed with the boy, looking him over and sniffing the boy’s scent when ever he walks by. Throughout the day the father and son soon learn that many of the children in nearby villages are missing. By evening, Santa’s elves soon get word that their leader is missing and they aren’t too happy. They will stop at nothing to get him back, in any violent means necessary.

Running at a tight 84 minutes, the film seems like something Tim Burton would have directed back in the early 90’s. The film is fun and the story is original. My only complaint is that the tone of the film starts off dark and almost like a Grimm Fairy Tale and soon turns into a parody and a bit too comedic for my tastes. I enjoyed the darkness and the old folklore that the first half of the film produces. When it turns into an action/comedy, I started to lose interest.

But if you are like me and you enjoy quirky and strange holiday films, Rare Exports is worth a look.

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