Written by: Scotty
For some people Christmas is a time of giving and receiving gifts, for others it is a time of business. With shops staying open late to capitalize on the last minute customers along with some people trying to feed their families. In the northern regions, Christmas means the only time to hunt as some of the animal migrations begin and it is a prime time to fill their freezers.
This stands true for the residents of the Korvatunturi Mountains in Finland. Families of hunters and butchers plan out their holiday based on the yearly migration of the reindeer population moving down the mountains and into their livestock bins. However, when an American team arrives on the mountain top and starts to dig for something, all bets are off for the hunters and their families. Finding that almost all of the reindeer have been killed, the hunters are looking for payback to the tune of eighty seven thousand dollars a person.
Not knowing what to expect when demanding their reimbursement, the hunters approach the camp and find it empty with a large hole that expands the depths of the mountain. Moving back to their homes with no hope of finding any retribution for their loss, they find a strange naked bearded man who fell victim to one of the wolf traps. Thinking the man dead, the butcher tries to dispose of the body to keep from getting into trouble with the authorities. To his surprise, the old man was still alive and seemed to show signs of life whenever a child or gingerbread was near.
Pietari, the butcher’s son was doing his due diligence in researching what the Americans were looking for. Climbing up to the top of the mountain with one of his friends, he found that the team was looking for the lost tomb of Santa Claus. Thinking this was just a legend, Pietari found some old books that housed the original story of what Santa really did on Christmas Eve, leaving him terrified of what the old gift giver actually brings. Knowing more than the adults of the village, Pietari tries to warn them to the imminent threat, but being a child, he is shunned away until it is too late.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale follows young Pietari as he tries to find out what is really happening with his father’s business, along with becoming a strong member of his motherless household. When finding out the true story of Santa, Pietari tries his hardest to find out the fate of his friends that have now been replaced with a wicker doll from Santa. With the strange bearded visitor that is barley clinging to life, Pietari’s father and his friend think that they have captured the elusive Santa Claus and are going to hold him ransom until the American’s pay their lost wages for the winter, but what they really have found is something much worse as they discover that this man is one of many that will stop at nothing to appease their master.
A very enjoyable holiday romp, I will admit. With the alternate histories coming out of the woodwork on what and who Santa Claus really is just makes it a ton of fun to keep up on. Not just a mad killer that has been imprisoned for centuries, but a beast that has only one thing that it likes to feed on, children. Although this is a foreign film and it is subtitled, do not let that turn you away. With the lead kid being the center piece of the movie, you will learn that children may not only be naive, but also may have a little bit better insight to things that us as adults overlook. Happy Holidays!