12 days of holiday horror: Rare Exports is a dark and fun Christmas film

Rare Exports. Image courtesy Shudder
Rare Exports. Image courtesy Shudder /

Holiday horror film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale began life in 2003 as a short titled Rare Exports, Inc. It told the story of a company that is responsible for trapping wild Santa Clauses, training them, then sending them to locations throughout the world.

A sequel titled Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions was released two years later, and the full length Finnish film was gifted to us in 2010. It’s a gift I have never wanted to return!

Set in snowy Lapland, Rare Exports begins with a research team taking drill core samples on a mountain. The area is believed to be the home of a pagan Santa-like creature known as Joulupukki (which translates to “Yule Goat”).

A boy named Pietari and his friend Juuso are spying on the proceedings, and what they see inspires them to launch their own investigation. Compounding the mystery is the fact that reindeer in the area have gone missing in droves – reindeer that are later found slaghtered. In true holiday horror fashion, discussions about the existence of Santa are peppered with violence, and Pietari believes that a skinny naked old man found in the area is actually Santa Claus, who he believes to be evil.

Holiday Horror
Onni Tomilla (L) and Jalmari Helander (R) attend “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” photocall during the 63rd Locarno Film Festival on August 7, 2010 in Locarno, Switzerland. *** Local Caption *** /

Rare Exports is partly an adventure tale seen through the eyes of Pietari (played by young Omni Tommila), but it also contains some full-on holiday horror. There are evil elves, stolen children, slaughtered reindeer and even a Krampus-like figure.

Solid acting performances, an incredibly effective setting, a clever and entertaining script, and some great folklore all come together perfectly, and provide viewers with a tale that truly deserves a spot on our list of the very best holiday horror films.

Rare Exports is truly a dark, fun and original film, and you can currently stream it on Shudder, Tubi and Peacock.

Next. 12 days of holiday horror: The horror of Gremlins. dark

Do you think Rare Exports is a great holiday horror film? Tell us why or why not in the comments section.