In honor of Christmas, a local independent theater was screening the 2010 Finnish holiday horror film “Rare Exports.”
The movie is about Pietari, a young boy convinced some English excavators have dug up the real Santa Claus, but he’s not the jolly old St. Nick we’ve all come to know and love. This Santa was lured into an ice trap by Russians centuries ago after he was found snacking on the children of the village, then buried in the Korvatunturi mountains.
Now, his father, a butcher and avid hunter, has caught the freshly unearthed Kris Kringle in one of his wolf pits. Or has he? Children are disappearing. Reindeer are being eaten. And there’s a man with a beard on the loose on Christmas Eve.
I was a bit skeptical going into this one. It was either going to be fantastic, or scar me for life. It ended up kinda being both.
The film starts slow and tries to introduce this layered relationship between father and son. If I’d gone into the movie wanting to see a deep, dramatic movie I might have enjoyed it more. I just wanted to see Father Christmas as an evil cannibal.
The film has a long build-up to them actually getting him out of the mountain. As Pietari opens up windows on his advent calendar the diggers get closer and closer to Santa popsicle frozen deep beneath the surface. Pietari does more and more research on various myths and sets his own traps around the house just in case. Once they capture the fat man (who’s actually not that fat) things start getting interesting.
It’s hard to talk too much more about the movie without giving away the ending, which is a pretty good twist. I honestly didn’t see it coming.
If you’re looking for something other than “It’s a Wonderful Life” to pop in the DVD player this year, and you don’t mind subtitles, “Rare Exports” is worth a watch.
You’ll never look at Santa the same.
- Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) (shespeaksmovies.wordpress.com)
- Now Fear This: Rare Exports (satelliteshow.wordpress.com)
- Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (wired.com)
“Rare Exports” is prequel to two earlier short films, “Rare Exports, Inc.”
and “Rare Exports Safety Instructions.”