Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Director: Jalmari Helander
Cast: Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen, Jorma Tommila, Jonathan Hutchings, Onni Tommila, Risto Salmi, Peeter Jakobi, Rauno Juvonen, Ilmari Järvenpää
This short and entertaining dark comedy turns the traditional Christmas mythology on its head. Thousands of years ago the Sami people froze and buried the real Santa Claus, a nasty creature who punished naughty children, inside a mountain in northern Finland. In the present day, a foreign mining crew unleashes the old foe on the local community of reindeer herders and their children. Jalmari Helander expanded his feature debut from the YouTube shorts Rare Exports Inc. (2003) and Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005). His low-key horror film relies on subtle scares rather than outright gore. The story does not always make sense, nor does it add up to much, but the fresh premise and lively visuals make this a perfectly enjoyable Xmas treat.