Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Krampus meets The Thing in this 2010 Finnish holiday horror that I would have called Santa’s Grotty.

From the director of Big Game, Rare Exports starts in much the same way: a father and son go hunting (played by Big Game‘s real-life father-son duo Jorma and Onni Tommila), only instead of finding President Samuel L. Jackson the boy discovers – well I won’t spoil it. Let’s just say considering Jalmari Helander directed commercials before this, the Finnish must have been watching some seriously strange adverts.

Again his eye for bright, foreboding scenery is nothing short of tundraful, while his use of a modest budget and runtime gives you plenty of bang for your buck. It lacks the pace of Big Game, but the build-up is made intriguing by being played completely straight – and the blisteringly bizarre third act is enough to put even Monty Python off visiting Finland.

For all its B movie madness, Rare Exports is an original, even magical film about belief and Finnish identity in its own weird way. As tender and wrong as a slab of reindeer meat, this fun festive freakshow offers another brief glimpse into Helander’s world – a world where Santa is evil and the President isn’t. Now that’s crackers.

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