Rare Exports sees the Finnish take on the myth of Santa with a horror twist. Based upon a series of shorts by director Jalmari Helander.
A young boy Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää) spy on an archealogical dig, where they think they have unearthed Santa Claus. Except it’s not quite the same character as in modern day versions but a monster child eater. When children start to disappear it is up to Pietari to reveal the truth of what is actually happening.
Rare Exports is definitely an alternative Christmas movie choice. It is enjoyable and well paced in its suspense at the reveal of the old man Santa who they capture with elements of sci-fi horror The Thing. Turning the tables on the myth, that a feeble old person can be something to be feared. But it is actually played quite seriously helping deliver the creepy atmosphere.
It soon delves in to full on cheesiness when it attempts to wrap up the tale breaking the tone created and becomes a cheap thrills ride in b-movie horror. When the kid starts bossing the adults around leading the charge, I found myself rolling my eyes a bit; genuinely unsure if I’m supposed to take this part seriously.. Quite hilarious though to find that the gun the child is carrying throughout the film is actually a real loaded rifle. But this is all part of its cult appeal. It is not until the tacked on short at the end where the title reference of the film is actually revealed in a very loose connection.
It has stereotypical evil voiced English villains, naked old men and lots of dead reindeer. If this sounds like your type of Christmas then give Rare Exports a try.
Reviewer: Dexter Kong
Release Date: 07 November 2011
Format: DVD & Blu-Ray
Cast: Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen & Jorma Tommila