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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: 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 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. (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 90
    A fiendishly entertaining Christmas yarn rooted in Northern European legend and lore, complete with a not-so-jolly old St. Nick informed more by the Brothers Grimm than Norman Rockwell.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 24, 2010
    88
    A rather brilliant lump of coal for your stocking hung by the fireside with care. How else to explain an R-rated Santa Claus origin story crossed with "The Thing"?
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Dec 6, 2010
    80
    If you're a bah-humbug type looking for an alternative to Santa Claus: The Movie or Miracle On 34th Street, this could be a holiday perennial. May be too strange for normal people, but weird kids will love it.
  4. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Dec 16, 2010
    75
    It's dark fun, in the spirit of "Gremlins."
  5. 70
    This oddball tale of life on a snowy mountainside is consistently upbeat and surprising, with action intensity that stays sturdily at "Goonies" level.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Dec 9, 2010
    67
    Much of Rare Exports is seen through the eyes of its preteen protagonist, which explains some of the story's minor omissions (who, exactly, hired this nefarious multinational mining outfit and why exactly?).
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Dec 21, 2010
    50
    Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander's dark-comic expansion on his cult Internet shorts, in which he crafts a back story for Santa that's as black as stocking coal.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A fiendishly entertaining Christmas yarn rooted in Northern European legend and lore, complete with a not-so-jolly old St. Nick informed more by the Brothers Grimm than Norman Rockwell. Expand
  2. Jan 31, 2013
    9
    A group of archaeologists have uncovered the world's best kept secret hidden deep within the Korvatunturi mountains, a being of such ancient and terrifying evil that it had to be locked away for centuries in an icy tomb beneath the earth. But now, Santa has been released, and it is up three of the town's trappers and their brave young boy to stop the creature before it can wreak its bloody vengeance on all of the Earth's children! RARE EXPORTS met with immediate success upon its initial release in 2010, gathering the support of cineasts world-wide as "an instant Christmas classic." Ancient lore mixes with modern humor as director Jalmari Helander explores the darker side of the Christmas tradition. Helander tells this whimsical fairytale with a wink, allowing the twisted humor to flow naturally from his characters as they approach the feral Santa Claus with utter apprehension. Onni Tommila gives a heartfelt and endearing performance as Pietari, who passes easily through the rites of manhood as he conquers his childhood fears in order to save his friends. The only misstep falls on the rushed and gimmicky finale, which breaks away from the slow and deliberate pacing while dispelling much of the film's magic for a few cheap laughs. RARE EXPORTS is a complete departure from any other holiday-themed horror film that will surely be revisited for many years to come. Expand
  3. Dec 26, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. this movie definitely surprised me at how well rounded it was. The acting was all very good from the adults to the outstanding actor who played Pietri. The kid was great. The whole vibe of the movie had both a quirky and creeping feeling to it. The kid was constantly afraid of Santa and the precautions he takes were very amusing and tongue in cheek funny. There were also some offsetting depressing vibes that made you care about the characters and I was not expecting that. The emotions in this film are so widespread that it definitely stands out as above average Christmas film, not even just a Christmas horror which is the reason why I watched it. This is a great Christmas movie to watch with the whole family or just by yourself. Expand
  4. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    This is easily my favorite Finnish film. As a rule, I don't like films from my home country, so it is a slight accomplishment to please me on that department.

    "Rare Exports" has all the makings of a traditional Finnish film; bad language, raw lifestyle, some naked man parts...

    And then, this is nothing like any movie I've seen - in a rather good way.

    Imagine if Santa wasn't a jolly round man saying "ho-ho-ho" to the passer-by. Imagine something quite different. Something he perhaps used to be in folklore before he became the man at the side of the Coke bottle.

    This film was creepy, a bit bloody/gory, but it didn't swing to the side of action all that much - other than near the end. They had a nice vibe going on the whole time, though, and it didn't get boring. In the beginning they introduced us to the people, which was good to make them work later in the film. After that it was a (less) jolly ride towards something quite strange.

    The humor was... I think it was pretty Finnish. It had a lot to do with swearing. Actually, it had everything to do with a well-timed swear-word or two. But it worked. And this wasn't a comedy, although it had the whole theatre roaring with laughter every now and then.

    I was a bit disappointed with our small hero Pietari. A small kid, quite innocent in the beginning, somehow transformed himself into a stone-faced action hero. How he just kept pulling one fact and plan after another from underneath his hockey helmet got a little weird: why choose a kid to do a man's job in a movie that clearly isn't directed to the small audience? Go figure.

    Worth a watch, definitely. It will be interesting to see how foreign people take this one, and how they manage to execute the story (dubbed or subbed in those parts that weren't English). I think it will lose a lot for those who don't get us Finns, but oh well.
    Expand
  5. Dec 9, 2011
    5
    This film sounded more interesting than it really was. I went through the entire movie waiting for something even remotely interesting to happen, but it never did. The first part of the film is extremely boring, and the second half is just average. The problem here is that the origin of this evil, ancient Santa is never fully realized; hell, you never even actually see him. This movie is comparable to having intercourse and having to stop before you get a chance to climax. It's a real shame, too, because the premise was very interesing, so it's a real bummer the movie is such a bore. Expand