I like weird movies; I love them if they’re done right. If you were to peruse my DVD collection (of which I am fairly proud), you would find an eclectic mix of classic films, strange films, cult films (“cult” meaning “cult classic,” not “how to sacrifice goats to the dread lord Mephistopholes”), foreign films, superhero films, stupidly funny films, and so much more. When these movies are done right, they tend to find a place on my DVD shelf. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is shaping up to be a weird movie done right. Based on the 2003 short film Rare Exports, this Finnish film tells the true story of Santa Claus; and it is not the story of a jolly and kind Santa Claus that we grew up hearing.
“In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.”
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale focuses on a group of Finnish reindeer herders who fall into the Santa Claus story due to scientific excavations on the nearby Korvantunturi mountains. As the excavation proceeds, the local reindeer, children, and supplies start to disappear. The excavators had freed the originator of the Santa Claus myth, the jolly red man himself. As I said, though, this is not the jolly and kind Santa Claus of our childhoods. This is the true Santa Claus, punisher of the naughty, and somewhat evil supernatural being. Then the film gets weird. From what I’m hearing, it’s best if you ignore the following trailer and the short movies on the website and go into the movie completely blind, as there is word that the trailer and short movies give away some key plot elements. I haven’t watched the trailer or the shorts, but from the official synopsis, I can’t wait to see it. It received a limited release December 3, 2010, but unfortunately, nowhere near my podunk mountain-adjacent town.