‘Tis the Season to be Scary: A Review of Rare Exports


It’s that magical time of year again! I’m a huge fan of Christmas. However, I never let the jolliest of holidays put a damper on my horror obsession. Sometimes the horror universe senses the need for a blending of the two, and in the case of Rare Exports, it did a fine job.

Rare Exports is a Finnish horror/fantasy film, so if you aren’t into subtitles, this film isn’t for you. For those of you willing to do a little reading though, you are truly in for a treat. The cinematography is breathtaking, the only way to describe it would be a fairy tale come to life, seriously, it’s gorgeous.

Set in the snowy mountains of Finland, this tale begins with a mysterious archeological dig and the murder of a flock of reindeer. As local children begin to disappear, our hero, young Pietari, decides to research the origins of Santa Claus. He finds that Santa Claus is actually a demon like creature who punishes naughty children in horrifying ways. This is illustrated by terrifyingly beautiful woodcuts of Santa eating, boiling, and flaying little boys and girls. Pietari suspects this may be the root of the problem, but the townspeople believe it to the work of a pack of wolves.

One of the local men sets a trap for what he presumes to be the wolves that killed the reindeer, instead, he traps a scrawny old zombie looking man with a long white beard. Meanwhile, Pietari discovers the children are being stolen and replaced with super creepy straw dolls (think a mannequin meets The Wicker Man). He goes to tell his father only to find that his father and his father’s two friends have captured the old scrawny man and are holding him hostage. Pietari convinces them, that they indeed, have captured Santa Claus himself.

The men decided to sell Santa Claus to the archeologists for $85,000, which ends in an axe to someone’s head, and if you thought things were weird already, it gets weirder.

Normally I would add spoilers, but this film really is a fun ride and I don’t want to ruin it. Gore fans be warned, this film won’t satiate your blood lust, but I would give it a go anyway. As I mentioned before, this definitely toes the line between horror and fantasy. I think in this case it was a great combination. If you love Christmas, and those ABC Family movies aren’t your cup of tea, then this is a great flick to play while decorating the tree, whether it be with tinsel or tonsils. This movie is for horror fans and Christmas fans alike.