Krampus was a humongous hit last holiday season. As if you didn’t know that. Whether you loved it or thought it was lame, there is a very good chance you saw it and gave it a chance. Beyond Krampus, we were also given the treat of A Christmas Horror Story, which was able to satisfy my bloodier Christmas cravings.
But this year, Christmas horror films seem to be in short supply. This is of no matter, as you can rewatch Krampus or Black Christmas on BluRay anytime you want – not to mention Gremlins. So while there aren’t many new options, there are plenty of reliable holiday favorites.
“I’m tired of those movies. I’ve seen them millions of times!”, you may say. Well, this is why I’m here. I’ve got just the solution for you. Two words: Rare Exports.
Rare Exports is a Finnish Christmas Horror/Fantasy hybrid about the real Santa Claus as he is unearthed during an archeological dig in the Korvatunturi mountains. I know, I can’t pronounce it either. Dumb Americans. Much like the villain in Krampus, this holiday icon is most certainly not here to bring any sort of Christmas cheer whatsoever. Everyone in proximity is on the naughty list.
Like A Christmas Horror Story, it’s a suitable alternative for those who thought Michael Dougherty’s film was too tame. It’s not all blood and guts, however; it’s a great middle ground between the two. If Krampus didn’t show enough, but CHS showed too much, Rare Exports is the sweet spot. And despite it being classified as a horror movie, there is enough charm in the film to have you walking away smiling.
But it may not have the same effect on you. There’s no guarantee that you won’t be hiding underneath your snowman blanket afterward.
Directed by Jalmari Helander, the film is flawless in pacing and aesthetic. While there comes a bit of CGI overload towards the end, that’s not really something I can fault the film on. It gives it a strange otherworldy quality, much like many other holiday films. It makes the horror seems almost … innocent. It’s original. Strange. Endearing.
No, it’s not exactly a brand new movie. However, it’s flown under the radar for quite a while. This may be due to the fact that it’s a foreign film with subtitles. Let’s face it; not everyone loves subtitles. But don’t let it kill this wonderful movie for you. In fact, there are a ton of amazing films that many people simply refuse to watch because it’s not in English – take Ip Man, starring Donny Yen, for example.
Rare Exports is a darkly comedic film that the whole family could even watch. Well, maybe that’s not true. I’m just trying to convince you to watch it. It’s probably not suitable for a younger audience. Still, skipping it this Christmas season would be nothing short of a travesty. In my home, it is sure to become a new holiday tradition, and I hope it becomes one in yours, too.
For those who have a Shudder account, it is now streaming. Watch the trailer below.