Friday, December 24, 2010

Short Review of Rare Exports

I hate Christmas films. They are almost without exception twee, syrupy nonsense drenched in false seasonal bonhomie. However, from time to time a dark gem sneaks down the chimney

Rare Exports from Finnish director Jalmari Helander is just such a beast. It acts as a prequel to two of his early short films exploring the myth of the original Santa Claus. This dark creature has little in common with the modern cuddly Santa more likely to eat a child than offer gifts. A team of miners unearth Santa and release it's horde of sinister bearded helpers. What ensues is what you'd imagine the cinematic offspring of Santa Claus the Movie and The Thing to look like.

While some of the effects are a bit ropey and the ending a tad anti-climactic, the concept and it's execution make for a deliciously dark grown up Del Toro-esque fairy tale.

Rating ****

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