Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale: Movie Review
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Cast: Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen, Ville Virtanen,
Jorma Tommila, Onni Tommila
A Finnish fantasy tale, Rare Exports is an odd beast.
It's set in the Finnish Korvatunturi mountains; it's there a series of miners
on an archaeological dig believe they've unearthed one of the biggest secrets of
the festive season: Santa Claus.
But while the digging goes on, a pack of hunters in a nearby village is beset
by strange goings on; their reindeer are slaughtered and children begin to go
missing. However, while the hunters are at a loss to what's going on, one child
Pietari (Onni Tommila) seems to be fully aware of the danger they face....
Rare Exports is a twisted slice of Christmas fare; from its Gothic opening
titles where the horror of a folklore Santa Claus is revealed, it's clear this
isn't a tale of "ho, ho, ho" more like "ho, ho, holy heck what was that?"
There's some beautiful scenery though; the white crisp snow and the mountains
look absolutely stunning on the screen; and images such as the slaughtered
reindeer look at odds with that. However, that's what the director's gone for
with this - it subtly pulls the carpet from under you when you least expect
There's a slow atmospheric build up to the big reveal about what's hunting
the hunters and what the miners have uncovered; but when the jolts come, they're
fairly effective and you won't look at Santa again without seeing a ghoulish
emaciated figure with a glint of pure evil in its eyes looking back. It's also
odd seeing zombie style imagery being associated with the festive season - but
it's that kind of film.
Rare Exports is aiming for cult glory and is bound to be embraced by those
who love it; it doesn't quite live up to the initial idea despite the dry dark
humour on display. It's a slightly odd maqcabre take on the Christmas story -
with its dalliances of the potential evil nature of Santas past, it shows a
devilish glint in its eye. It's for that very reason some will love it, and
others will wonder why they do.