Streaming: Santa Claus gets sinister in 5 horror films for the holidays

Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder /
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1. Joulupkki/Santa Claus – Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Joulupkki is a Finnish pagan “Santa” character, sometimes described as half man, half goat. In 2010’s Finnish horror film Rare Exports, a research team working for the Subzero company is exploring Korvatunturi, which is believed to be the origin point for Joulupkki.

Young Pietari lives close by with his father, Rauno, who operates a reindeer slaughterhouse. He has been reading books that portray Santa Claus as a demonic being who whips and boils bad children, and he is starting to believe those stories.

With reindeer currently scarce, Rauno intends to confront the Subzero team, but finds that there is no human presence at  Korvatunturi, only a large crater is there.

People in the local village report the theft of hair dryers, potato sacks and heaters, and then the seemingly lifeless body of an emaciated old man is found by the villagers. As it turns out, the old man is not dead…not only that, he seems to have a nasty temper. The plot thickens when Pietari and the villagers find an enormous, frightening  creature with horns frozen in a block of ice, along with evidence that someone or something is trying to thaw the monster.

Rare Exports is fun, scary, adventurous and action-packed, and began life as a short film titled Rare Exports, Inc., followed by a short sequel, Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions. Young actor Onni Tommila played Pietari in both the short sequel and the full-length film, and he is excellent in both. The two 10-minute short films that inspired it can be seen on YouTube.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale can be seen on several streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime and Hulu. 

Next. Shudder spreads some Christmas fear in December. dark

Are you a fan of movies featuring a sinister Santa Claus? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section.