One of the films I really enjoyed at the 2010 Fantastic Fest was a Finnish movie titled Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, which tells the untold origin story of Santa Claus. Directed by Jalmari Helander, based on the 2003 short film, Rare Exports feels like a fusion of Joe Dante and Guillermo del Toro.
A group is working to excavate something buried in the mountain — the original Santa Claus. A local boy does research and discovers that the original Santa Claus is not the Jolly fat man we’ve come to know. The original fairy tales told of an evil satanic-like creature who punishes bad children. The boy tries to warn his father, but as is always the case, the adults don’t listen until it is too late. The movie isn’t really a horror film, although it has some horror elements. It looks and feels like the Christmas movies I watched as a kid (for example, Jeannot Szwarc’s Santa Claus: The Movie). Although if I had seen Rare Export as a child, I would have been frightened of both Santa Claus and the entire Christmas holiday.
The domestic movie trailer for the film is now online, watch it after the jump. Warning: It might give a little too much of the plot away. It certainly doesn’t ruin the film but this is one of those movies which it is definitely better to go in blind. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Official Plot Synopsis: It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland and an “archeological” dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When all the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare – a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality. RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing.
Watch the trailer in high definition on Apple. Rare Exports will be released in limited theaters on December 3rd 2010.