Director: Jalmari Helander
Starring: Jorma Tommila, Peeter Jakobi, Onni Tommila
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring… expect for Santa and his evil army of elves.
When a small town in Finland is disturbed by a government project in the mountains, young Pietari (Onni Tommila) wonders what is happening. The main occupation in the town is reindeer herding and when the majority are being killed by an unknown entity, Pietari starts to believe in ‘childish ideas’. He still believes in Santa Claus but not the modern day version. He believes in the old Norse, evil, horned Santa that eats children. Upon examination of the government project, Pietari and his friend realise that The Americans are digging Santa out of the prison that he was placed in so that he would stop eating children. Santa escapes and havoc follows as he uses his sack to kidnap the evil children instead of bringing them presents. The plot twist is amazing and totally unexpected as it turns out this Santa is actually an elf (Peeter Jakobi) and and the real Santa hasn’t even got started yet. Peetari helps his father, Rauno (his real father Jorma Tommila), and the townsfolk to eventually make the best of a bad situation
Based on two Youtube short film (both written and directed by Helander), Rare Exports is the Christmas movie that so many people desire: there’s no life morals learnt and everything doesn’t end happily. There’s swearing, death, and Santa nudity. Of course there’s also comedy and watching the elves being trained to act as good Santas with toys is creepily comedic. Some of the scenes don’t sit right as they are too modernised in comparison with this ancient belief of Santa which adds to the horror – father and son passing gingerbread men back and forth in silence whilst an elf is swinging from a meat hook. Though the whole film is depicted seriously, comedy does shine through unexpectedly.
This film goes against the holiday norm and washes away the happily taste from your mouth. The idea of Santa being evil works well as a giant, red, horned, evil person that is trapped in a prison seems an awful lot like another person from storybooks.
S – A – N – T – A
S – A – T – A – N
Yeah Santa’s not so friendly now is he. If you don’t mind reading subtitles (it is a Finish film after all) for a moderate 81 minutes then Rare Exports is definitely worth a watch. The folklorian twist on what the modern tale believes is brilliantly different to any other Christmas story out there and may soon receive a yearly viewing. Just be sure that when you leave cookies out for Santa next year that they have raisins in.