Nobody seems to know what Rare Exports is, including the BFI box office, which issued tickets printed with “Rare Exploits“. Part comic horror, part bloody fairy tale, ingredients include an evil Santa Claus, boys with guns, gingerbread biscuits, a pinch of swearing and lots of naked old men. It seems an unlikely recipe for a children’s movie but on balance that’s what this Finnish film delivers.
When a foreign mining company sets up shop near a small, reindeer-hunting community, only young Pietari (Omni Tommila) believes that it’s Santa Claus who is being dug up. After some research, he realises this is not a good thing. Creepy, funny and occasionally poignant, the film, which was born from two internet shorts, suffers a little from its confused genre. Elements are set up with the potential to be a lot more frightening than they actually are, leaving this reviewer cringing in expectation of more violence that never comes. Overall though, it’s an enjoyably macabre trip through Finland’s snowy open lands, with an endearing performance from its young lead.
One question was left hanging in the frozen air: where were all the women? Pietari makes reference to an absent (presumed dead) mother and another character mentions his wife’s missing hairdryer but as a whole, women are made conspicuous by their absence.
Rare Exports has a release date of 3rd December. Assuming the BBFC don’t bump up its rating to a 15, take some not-too-easily-scared pre-teens to get into the Christmas spirit without the commercial veneer.