Santa portrayed as monstrous abuser in Christmas horror film


“Rare Exports” is a dark, realistic take on Christmas legends.

When you reach a certain age, it is easy to write off Santa Claus as a silly myth ingeniously crafted by scheming parents all over the world. There is no such thing as magic, after all, and it would be physically impossible for some overweight man to cover 24,901 miles in one night on a massive sleigh carried by a team of flying reindeer.

Of course, no one has really stopped to think that maybe the real magical Santa able to dismiss physics in a single sleigh ride has just disappeared at some point. Or that jolly old St. Nick was really just an evil monster who punished naughty children by tearing them to pieces. No one except the creators of “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.”

“Rare Exports” centers on a group of three reindeer herders in isolated Finland whose Christmas roundup is ruined by an excavation on nearby Korvatunturi Mountain.

On the mountain, American scientists and excavation workers uncover a sacred burial ground with an occupant who is still very much alive. Local people soon begin to experience strange occurrences, like reindeer mysteriously being killed and children and home appliances disappearing.

When the herders manage to capture whom they believe is the culprit, one herder’s son convinces them their hostage is none other than Santa Claus out to punish all the naughty kids. The men then set out to save Christmas and the local children from the malicious mythical creature, but discover a Christmas secret bigger and more terrifying than they could ever imagine.

First things first, “Rare Exports” is not a family movie you want the children and Grandma to gather around the TV to watch during the holidays––unless of course you want Grandma to walk away horrified. It is a bizarre film that will forever disturb the innocent image of Santa Claus, turning a centuries-old fairy tale into the stuff of nightmares. This is not the Santa you want sliding down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

Yet, if you have a weird sense of humor, the original and off-the-wall “Rare Exports” is a real Christmas treat. The holiday horror is unpredictable and well-written and will leave you feeling strangely satisfied––although somewhat guilty––at the twisted happily-ever-after ending.