Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

I managed to catch this flick this evening. Initial reaction: One of the best “Christmas” films I have seen in a looooong time. I have to jump on a plane and travel across the country here in a few. I will finish my review as soon as I can and post once I land and get settled. Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

Finally, a Santa movie with an evil Santa that isn’t played out like one big joke. No, this is the darkest, most twisted, and disturbing Santa Claus to grace the big screen yet. I love Goldberg as the wildy over-the-top one-liner of a jolly man and of course I love Santa in Silent Night Deadly Night, but those are of a different breed. The Santa in Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale would rip them from limb-to-limb with batting an eye.

To say this is a different film is an understatement. Based on Scandinavian mythology, the film explores the dark side of the famous fairy tale. And as dark as the film is, it is just as dementedly joyful and fun. It feels like a kid’s movie, but would almost certainly scar any kid into oblivion. And on top of the twisted and fun moments, the film manages to throw in a few epic scenes that will leave jaws aghast.

A group of excavators are furiously working to unearth the true Santa Claus. Something goes wrong and the peaceful villagers living at the bottom of the mountain begin experiencing troublesome events. Starting with the massacre of a herd of reindeer and quickly escalating when all the village’s kids disappear, except one, Pietara. He is the only hope of the town, well, him, his father and a rag-tag group of local adults. Eventually, the townsfolk capture a mysterious, creepy bastard that we are all familiar with – that’s when the frightment starts in earnest. And, at least a couple times the movie put me on edge.

The final act is a thing of beauty and I’m not just talking about the breathtaking cinematography. It would be impossible to explain too much without giving a lot of the best parts away. And since I hope everyone can experience the movie like I did – knowing almost nothing – I won’t ruin this for my readers (unlike A LOT of other sites, damn you bastards) The only thing I will say is that the film’s title makes satisfyingly awesome sense….eventually.

Rare Exports has leaped into my top 5 Christmas horror movies, even though it’s not really horror.

Rating: 8/10

Snore Factor: Z (Short running time of 80 minutes, combined with great, moving story. No sleeping here)

IMDB 2010


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