In the mood for some Christmas entertainment that isn’t all gooey-saccharine-sweet? How about a Christmas horror movie?
If you don’t mind subtitles and can take it as the silly comedy-horror show that it is, check out the Finnish movie, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. You don’t want this Santa coming down your chimney.
There are various and evolving traditions surrounding the legend of Santa Claus, and this movie apparently makes some of its own. In the far north of Finland, just across the frozen border with Russia, an American-sponsored archaeological dig is unearthing what the crazy Yank (correctly) believes is the enormous grave mound of the real Santa Claus. Gasp! Imagine our consternation when his foreman calls to tell him… there is a pulse.
Meanwhile, a curious local boy, having overheard the talk of the workers, begins reading dusty old tomes that reveal the long-forgotten but horrific nature of the true Santa Claus (There is something to this. See the legend of Joulupukki, the Finnish name for Santa; while he now resembles our own jolly red-suited version, he originated as an evil goat-like creature which ancient pagan Finns warded off with midwinter festivals).
When things start to go wrong and kids start to go missing around the village, our little hero has to figure out how to get the adults to understand what they are up against.
It’s pretty typical of horror movies that people don’t behave as they would in real life. Let’s say they go into a decrepit house and discover freshly bloodied chainsaws and hear a ghostly voice whispering “Get… out!” Do they get out? No, they go deeper into the house. I guess this is necessary in a way; otherwise, we wouldn’t get a horror story.
So it is with Rare Exports. No one makes a good decision for most of the movie, and no one behaves like a real person would, but the movie wraps up with a humorous outcome. Still, this movie might make you think twice about letting your kids sit on Santa’s lap at the mall.
Just suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride if you’re looking for something different to watch this Christmas.