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This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.
Director: Jalmari Helander
Writers: Petri Jokiranta (dramaturge), Sami Parkkinen, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Jorma Tommila, Peeter Jakobi and Onni Tommila
It is the depths of Winter in Finland and a corporation of American Archeologists are excavating deep within the Korvatunturi mountains. Unknowingly they have excavated the most closely guarded secret of Christmas. At the same time in the neighbouring village a father (Rauno) and his son (Pietari) are preparing a reindeer hunt the proceeds of which will last them over the winter. As Christmas draws near the children of the village begin to vanish from their homes, replaced in their beds with grotesque dolls. The true secret of what has been dug up is discovered by Pietari who finds out the real nature of Old St Nick during his research into whether or not Santa Claus really exists.
If you are looking for a cosy Christmas film you may want to look elsewhere as this film is pretty dark. Although billed as horror I would actually describe it as more of a quirky black humour type film. There are some unsettling moments but essentially the horror comes from the true nature of Santa Claus. There are some creepy scenes such as when the dolls are found in the childrens beds but there is not a great deal of gore or violence hence the 15 certificate.
This is a Finnish film so as you would expect there are no famous actors to speak of. The performances however are very good especially Onni Tommila who plays Pietari. If found his frustration at being a child who knew all the answers but was not believed by any of the adults very funny and very true. The characters of the elves are also brilliantly realised and certainly left me with a chill.
Being set in Finland the mountainous landscape is absolutely breath taking - I do however think the cinematography did not do the location justice.
On the whole I found Rare Exports to be a very enjoyable film. It is the perfect anti-dote to all of the schmaltzy Christmas cheer that will be being rammed down our throats in a couple of months time. The concept of the film is completely original for a Christmas story. The pace of the film is great and I found the storyline gripped my throughout leading to a very unexpected twist at the end.
If you like films that are a little bit off the wall then I would definitely recommend you take a look at Rare Exports. I saw Rare Exports through Lovefilm but is available from Amazon for £9.99 from 7th November.