Much like Vikaren, or maybe even The Monster Squad, Rare Exports is a family-friendly "Horror" flick that is definitely geared towards a younger crowd.
Deep in the snowy mountains of Finland, life is simple: for the most part, people herd reindeer and grimace at each other a lot. That's pretty much it. So imagine how exciting it is for little Pietari to discover that a nearby mining company has unearthed the frozen grave of... Santer Klaus! Is that what they call him in Finland? Sinterklass? Father Christmas? Joulupukki? I don't know, I'm just trying to talk about Santa here.
Santa isn't fat and jolly in Finland; no, he's wizened and gangly, and above all else, he's really creepy. He gets off on punishing the naughty children, and I'm pretty sure he's into eating them too. That said, it makes perfect sense for a group of local villagers to throw him in a cage and poke him with sticks, threatening to sell him into prostitution to pay for their dead reindeer... which he apparently ate. Also, the children of the town are disappearing, and only little Pietari seems to notice...
From here on out the movie gets all sorts of crazy, culminating in some daring helicopter acrobatics and a showdown with Santa's Elves. Don't ask, just sit back and enjoy the fun of it all, would you?
|Oh, Joulupukki is not happy at all right now.|
The idea that Santa Claus is a creepy, evil, twisted monster that really only exists to punish the wicked is a hell of a concept, and Rare Exports makes the most out of the premise, and does so in a really fun way. There's a twist that comes a bit more towards the end of the film that I didn't see coming, and it "changed" the movie for me a bit, but it worked well. Despite it being a bit different than I had expected, I have to say that the ending made me cheer a little, as a kid basically steps up and saves everyone's asses for them, because the adults just can't seem to get their shit together.
Good for you, Pietari. You're a good kid.
|Finland's biggest hero. *Shout out to Teemu Selanne, who is pretty heroic in Finland too.|
Rare Exports is a fun, interesting take on the legend of Santa Claus, and you should definitely give it a chance. Be warned though, you'll have to endure subtitles to watch this one, so no whining about "man, I don't want to have to read my movies!" Just suck it up and push through, would ya?
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.