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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale 2010

  • Jalmari Helander
  • December 3, 2010
  • 84 mins
  • Finnish
  • Action, Fantasy, Science Fiction
He knows if you've been naughty. He knows if you've been nice. And he doesn't give a sh*t.
It's the eve of Christmas in northern Finland and an "archeological" dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn't the one you want coming to town. When all the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa's elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare - a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality. RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing.


All 3 Comments

In rural Finland at Christmas, a drilling company strikes upon the terrifying real truth behind Santa Claus.

There’s lots to like about Rare Exports. It’s more horror than comedy but when it tries either genre it succeeds. For a Christmas film, it’s genuinely suspenseful and most of all disorienting - the traditional rules of Christmas do not apply here. The cinematography is also impressive, another surprising element from a ‘holiday’ film.

However, there’s a lot of wasted potential. Whether it’s too short or just badly edited I don’t know, but there’s a whole lot of build up then a slap-dash finish. I applaud the mystery and misdirection Helander employs when unravelling his story, but it’s as if he doesn’t quite know how to tackle it beyond the initial few steps. There are plenty of times where the plot could have inched forward a tiny bit but no - another empty scare. It’s fun at first, then it’s just tiresome.

An entertaining and original Christmas tale, albeit a frustrating one at times.


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Funny, but at the same time kinda creepy. In a weird way.

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Really nice idea, horrible ending.

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