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Christmas Countdown!! Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale



Released: 3rd December 2010

Directed By: Jalmari Helanda

Starring: Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen, Jorma Tommila

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Mitch Hansch

Jalmari Helander, in his feature-length directorial debut, uses his popular shorts; “Rare Exports Inc” and “Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions” to fashion Christmas’ beloved tale gone wrong in the most bizarre film of the year.

So you think Old Saint Nick is a jolly fat dude who loves all the children of the world? WRONG! According to Fins and their Scandinavian mythology, Santa Claus is a demonic torturer of little children. Bad Santa has rules and believe me brother, you better not end up on his naughty list. Campy lines early on like “Watch your mouth, it’s Christmas time” make for just the right treatment of this peculiar look at the Christmas tale you thought you knew.

An American archeological dig unearths the jolly oppressor who soon starts wreaking havoc on the small frozen town on the outskirts of Finland by the Russian border. Helander does a very good of making you realize how desolate and non-winter-wonderland their terrain is. When all the little children, as well as all the potato sacks go missing, only the last little boy Pietari (Onni Tommila), not captured by Evil Santa and his minions of ear biting/ gingerbread loving/ naked loyal minions of elves knows what’s at stake. When Rauno (Jorma Tommila), Pietari’s widowed father, captures one of the angry ol’ elves and wants to ransom him off for decimating the reindeer harvest for the year, a creative blend of horror and holiday film collide.

My Christmas wish would have been for the director Helander to keep the x-mas weirdness momentum rolling. Instead, the second act sluggishly suffers after such a curiously wonderful setup. The reigns almost slip through Helanders fingers until he redeems “Rare Exports” with a heroic ending that could have been pushed even further.
“Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” delivers a quirky Christmas present that will give the teenage viewers something to quote and has imagination akin to early Tim Burton. I just wish Helander would have delivered his horror akin to early Sam Raimi. In the end, “Rare Exports” safely avoids the naughty list and will not leave coal in your stocking.

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