This holiday season, we at Psycho Drive-In would like to introduce you to the good, the bad, and ugly of not just any Holiday Films, but the Holiday Films you may have forgotten, overlooked, or just didn’t realize were Holiday Films. There’s no Rankin-Bass, no Miracles on any streets, no traditional happy family gathering fare. Instead there’s a lot of blood, violence, some terrorists, monsters, and even aliens. Plus more than a couple of bizarre Anti-Santas to go around. Twelve days, twelve films, twelve opportunities to amuse and disturb your families this holiday season. On the Tenth Day of Christmas, Dave Hearn gives to you, Rare Exports (2010). Christmas horror. Not a cinematic blend you encounter very often. When it does happen, there’s usually some weirdo in a dirty Santa suit exacting maniacal terror on an unsuspecting holiday party. The result is usually campy at best, drudgery at worst. With the bar set so low you can imagine my delight while watching Rare Exports, a Christmas Tale. Yes, the premise is pretty ridiculous but it’s presented with such amazing care and visual alacrity that any doubts I had going in were extinguished immediately. As an added challenge, the version I watched were devoid of subtitles and I don’t speak a work of Finnish. Didn’t matter, the images tell the story. Rare Exports is a beautifully composed film. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As visually striking as this movie is, the images are of bleak, frostbitten, mountainous wastes that evoke a feeling of emptiness. The cold looks tolerable but biting nonetheless. As if spring and summer never reaches that area. For all of its starkness, the filmmaking is still beautiful. Rare Exports was originally a short film of the same name made in 2003. There is an economy to the visual language of short films and that translates to the full movie. Again, the images tell the story and nothing is wasted. Every element of Christmas lore is twisted around and woven into this story. A child provides our focus and window into this fiction, Father Christmas looms large, there are elves and even Krampus makes an appearance. But this is no uplifting “feel good” movie of the season. Rare Exports is horrifying at times. Taking our beloved Christmas myths and transforming them into terrifying apparitions of dread. There is a palpable heaviness to the tension that these creatures inflict. It’s a pure horror created from a sense of dread. Fictions that are supposed to bring cheer and goodwill are, instead forcing everyone to bar their doors and carry firearms 24/7. The cast is incredibly small which adds to the insular feeling this movie produces. Visually, there is a layer of grime over almost everyone except Pietari Kontio (Onni Tommila), the young boy at the movie’s center. Rifles must be standard issue in this tiny, rural village because even the kids carry them. Considering the nature of the antagonist, carrying a gun is a good idea. There might even be an environmental message contained within Rare Exports though it might be a stretch to suggest so. While drilling into a mountainside for … something… the drill team unleashes the truth of the Christmas spirit on the honest families that earn their living by trapping reindeer. It’s a case of drilling too far and too deep for selfish reasons. Like the real world, the victims of greed are rarely the ones who caused the problem in the first place but are instead, the indigenous people who must deal with pollution. In Rare Exports, the pollution isn’t oil, it’s Santas. We aren’t left without hope in this holiday season horror flick. After some pretty incredible special effects that I wasn’t really expecting, Rare Exports delivers to us a message of renewal and triumph. Innocence is a bit bruised but remains intact. Indeed, innocence, hope and renewal are packaged and delivered to the world by the end. If you want to watch something off the beaten path this Christmas and don’t mind some subtitles, Rare Exports, a Christmas Tale is an excellent choice. Because nothing says “Christmas” like a naked Santa being hosed down like he’s in county jail. See larger image Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Blu-Ray + DVD) New From: $39.98 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.