Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

2010 anti-Christmas movie

Rating: 16/20

Plot: During a mysterious archaeological dig on a mountain in Finland, a nearby reindeer hunter accidentally captures an old man who he decides must be Santa Claus. Soon after, the children of the village start going missing.

This is not just my new go-to Christmas movie. It's also going to be my go-to movie when I want to see a bunch of naked old men. I'm sure this movie breaks some kind of record for most old man junk in a Christmas movie. This is a cool little story, very quiet and subdued until an action-packed and explosion-filled denouement. The humor is darkly Scandinavian, dry but warm. Scenes are funny because you're just not sure what else they're supposed to be. For example, there's one beautiful shot in a greenish reindeer-butcherin' room where some men sit and eat gingerbread cookies while Santa is tied up and suspended from the ceiling by a chain. Like a lot of Scandinavian movie makers (I'm going to just keep writing that like I know what I'm talking about), director Jalmari Helander (this is his only feature-length movie, by the way) takes his time getting from point to point, allowing the viewer to soak in all the character and setting details. And there are a lot of setting details to soak in. This is very well filmed; they take advantage of the mountainous background and rural settings. This is far from festive and just about perfect for people like me who don't really care all that much for the holiday season. My only hope is that I didn't give too much away with anything I wrote here.


Matt Snell said...

I have also made this the new annual family Christmas movie. I was getting kind of tired of Bad Santa, anyway.

l@rstonovich said...

Dude is that guy eating a gerbil in the poster? This looks like another that will make me proud to be a Finn.