Film: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

"The real Santa was totally different. The Coca-Cola Santa is just a hoax."

In rural Finland at Christmas, a drilling company strikes upon the terrifying real truth behind Santa Claus.

There’s lots to like about Rare Exports. It’s more horror than comedy but when it tries either genre it succeeds. For a Christmas film, it’s genuinely suspenseful and most of all disorienting - the traditional rules of Christmas do not apply here. The cinematography is also impressive, another surprising element from a ‘holiday’ film.

However, there’s a lot of wasted potential. Whether it’s too short or just badly edited I don’t know, but there’s a whole lot of build up then a slap-dash finish. I applaud the mystery and misdirection Helander employs when unravelling his story, but it’s as if he doesn’t quite know how to tackle it beyond the initial few steps. There are plenty of times where the plot could have inched forward a tiny bit but no - another empty scare. It’s fun at first, then it’s just tiresome.

An entertaining and original Christmas tale, albeit a frustrating one at times.

Jalmari Helander | 2010 | IMDB | Wikipedia