Posted October 19, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale


A hugely original take on a Christmas tradition makes this horror a must watch for all those who need to get into, or out of, the festive spirit.

A hugely original take on a Christmas tradition makes
this horror a must watch for all those who need to get into, or out of, the
festive spirit.

Christmas is not
for everyone. It might sound funny
but it’s true. All that tinsel,
the buying of presents, not to mention forced family time. It can all get a bit much. And then there’s Santa Claus. A lie conjured by adults to entice
children to be good, go to bed on time and generally remain calm as all the
havoc of the festive season injects its sugary goodness into them. But who is Santa? This mythical old man we’re all too
happy to imagine sneaking into our children’s bedrooms while we’re all asleep. Think about it, it’s creepy. Thankfully writer director Jalmari Helander clearly thinks so too
as he brings his wonderfully dark twist on the Santa Claus myth to life in Rare
Exports.

High on top of a
Finland mountain a group of minors excavate an ancient tomb. Meanwhile in the small town below a
group of Reindeer farmers discover their income has been slaughtered,
supposedly by wolves scared from the mountain by the explosions. Determined to trap the animal
responsible the farmers only succeed in trapping an old man who soon appears to
be more than they assumed. Only
the young boy Pietari (Onni Tommila)
has a theory about who this old man is; the legendary Santa Claus who unlike
the fairytale version likes to beat and kidnap naughty children. Realising that old Saint Nick might be
worth a quid or two the farmers hold him up for ransom to the minors, only to
discover a more worrying truth behind the legend.

Acting as a
pseudo prequel to his two YouTube hit shorts Rare Exports Inc and Rare
Exports Safety Instructions,
Helander creates a wonderfully dark fairly
tale. Like something written by Stardust creator Neil Gaiman it takes a well-worn idea and flips it neatly on its
head to be creepily original. At
first it is your normal run of the mill suspense as Pietari witnesses more and
more strange goings on in his small town.
Little things like all the potato sacks going missing, footsteps in the
snow outside and the small matter of the radiators going astray. Crucially though it does not try to
hide anything from you. Pietari is
always on the case, a young boy very aware of the mythology of Santa Claus and
as such allowing us a dark insight into what lies behind the mystery.

Like the other
Nordic hit of the year Troll Hunter, Rare Exports does everything with a wry
wink to camera allowing the audience to be in on the joke rather than the punch
line of it. Furthermore, the film
never feels the need to be overly scary or gory. Indeed a slightly older child would find just as much
enjoyment from the film as most adults.
Like a modern day Monster Squad
or The Lost Boys this has a fun 80s
vibe to it that is intended to be a romp rather than a jump.

A brilliantly
alternative Christmas film that will get you in just the right spirit without
any of that overly joyous nonsense.
You better watch out, you better cry because this Santa Claus will rip
your throat right out given half the chance. Rare Exports is a rare treat to find in your Christmas
stocking.

Go to Tesco Entertainment to buy your copy of Rare Exports and other new DVDs


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com