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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Fantasy . Action . Science Fiction . Adventure . Horror

It's the eve of Christmas in northern Finland and an "archeological" dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn't the one you want coming to town. When all the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa's elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare - a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality. RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing.

Actors: Sigmund Bøe , Jens Sivertsen , Risto Salmi , Ilmari Järvenpää , Rauno Juvonen , Onni Tommila , Tommi Korpela , Per Christian Ellefsen , Jorma Tommila , Jonathan Hutchings
Directors: Jalmari Helander
Release: 2010-12-03
More Info:
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    A fiendishly entertaining Christmas yarn rooted in Northern European legend and lore, complete with a not-so-jolly old St. Nick informed more by the Brothers Grimm than Norman Rockwell.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    The focus of this bizarre Finnish fairy tale - as black as anything the Brothers Grimm could have dreamed up - is a sinister old codger who chews off ears and whose demon minion kidnaps innocent children. Ho ho no!

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    A rather brilliant lump of coal for your stocking hung by the fireside with care. How else to explain an R-rated Santa Claus origin story crossed with "The Thing"?

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    What unfolds is a dark comic thriller and action-hero send-up, a strange alloy of daredevil helicopter maneuvers and night of the living elves. Captured in atmospheric widescreen camerawork, the end-of-the-world frozen landscape (actually Norway) is spectacular and spooky.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    If you're a bah-humbug type looking for an alternative to Santa Claus: The Movie or Miracle On 34th Street, this could be a holiday perennial. May be too strange for normal people, but weird kids will love it.

    Empire Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    You'd better watch out. You'd better not swear. Have a gun handy, loaded for bear. Santa Claus is coming…to Finland.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    To be clear: Despite the holiday flavor, and despite the pint-sized hero, this is no kids' movie. There is swearing. There is blood. There is an army of 180 very nude Santas coursing through the snow. That's not the kind of thing Frank Capra ever could have dreamed of -- and that change of pace is exactly what makes Rare Exports a rare, if unexpected, holiday treat.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    This Santa Claus story is for a midnight movie crowd, not the kiddie matinees.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Jennie Punter

    A taut, gorgeously filmed and enjoyably wicked cinematic treat.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    It's dark fun, in the spirit of "Gremlins."

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Slight but fun.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

    This oddball tale of life on a snowy mountainside is consistently upbeat and surprising, with action intensity that stays sturdily at "Goonies" level.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    It's likely the best anti-Christmas Christmas movie since "Bad Santa."

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Much of Rare Exports is seen through the eyes of its preteen protagonist, which explains some of the story's minor omissions (who, exactly, hired this nefarious multinational mining outfit and why exactly?).

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • V.A. Musetto

    It isn't recommended for impressionable children, who might well experience nightmares. But for grown-ups looking for an alternative to the annual onslaught of ho-ho-ho Christmas tales, the visually pleasing oddity is just the thing, even if it does slow down in its middle portion before picking up again.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Some moments are so deliciously shivery-our heroes' breath condensing in the air like in John Carpenter's "The Thing"-that you wish the film were naughtier and less nice.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    Based on two of his previous shorts, this lurid vision is good for a few laughs-some intended, some not.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Tom Russo

    Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander's dark-comic expansion on his cult Internet shorts, in which he crafts a back story for Santa that's as black as stocking coal.

    Boston Globe Full Review