new christmas classics

Welcome to the end of 2015 and, more specifically, welcome to the end of the 2015 holiday season. Starting tomorrow, seasonal decorations will officially start to come down, Christmas songs will vanish from the radio, and the usual holiday movies will be packed away until next year.

And maybe we should leave them packed for a little while. Much like how it’s nearly impossible to pen a new Christmas song that gains any traction alongside the tried-and-true classics, a handful of movies grip the final weeks of every year with an iron fist. Many of these movies are legitimate classics that have earned their status, but let’s face it – it’s time for a change. It’s time to shake up the Christmas movie canon. We have an entire year to prepare, so let’s take a moment and induct a few new movies into our annual rotation. Let’s end this holiday season by ensuring that we have something fresh and new to watch next year.

Welcome to the New Holiday Canon, a collection of newer films and lost gems that deserve to be in the conversation every December.

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If you’re feeling a little Halloweened out today, maybe jump ahead a few months to Christmas. That holiday has a laundry list of films we traditionally watch and, last year, a new one fought its way onto the list: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. The Finnish film from director Jalmari Helander is about an archaeological dig that unearths the real Santa Claus. And Santa is not at all jolly. It’s now available on Blu-ray and DVD and we’re excited to debut some exclusive, original illustrations that were used in the film. Check them out after the jump. Read More »

Movie Trailer: Rare Exports

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.

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Movie Trailer: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

rareexports_trailer

This is the sort of demented horror brilliance that could only hail from Europe.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, a Finnish film from director Jalmari Helander, presents its own warped take on the jolly Christmas saint. In this version, Santa Claus isn’t so nice. Hell, he’s downright nasty—and he means business. Read More »