31 Days of Christmas Movies Marathon: Day 7 – Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Welcome to my 31 Days of Christmas movie marathon.  This is a feature where I watch a different Christmas movie every day from now until Christmas.  The rules are simple: The movie has to be something I haven’t already seen and I must watch at least one Christmas-themed movie a day from now until December 25th.  They’ll be some bad ones and hopefully a lot of great ones.  Why put myself through this?  Because it’s a good way to catch up on a lot of Christmas movies and a good way to satisfy my OCD.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

As a concept, Rare Exports is refreshingly original.  However, in its execution the film is quite underwhelming.  The film definitely falls under the dark humor/horror umbrella, yet is not all that funny, nor is it scary.

The story is about a centuries-old evil Santa Clause who has been excavated from deep within Finland’s Korvatunuri Mountains, his demonic elves, and the few villagers who are trying to control and profit from their discovery of this most unusual find.

My main gripe with this movie is that on paper this film seems awesome.  A small arctic village made up mostly of beard donning manly men who yield axes and hunt reindeer versus killer elves who will stop at nothing in order to kidnap naughty youngsters and bring them to a punish enforcing Santa.  What about that concept doesn’t sound awesome?  Much to my disappointment though, the film never delivers on its promise to be suspenseful, bloody, or kick ass in any way whatsoever.  This confused me because the film is filled with so many of my favorite thematic elements.  Aside from the aforementioned characters, having a wintery setting for a horror themed movie is almost always a brilliant building block for success.  Right away I think of Carpenter‘s The Thing or Kubrick‘s The Shining.  I knew from the get go that Rare Exports wasn’t going to be in the same class as those two films but I still had hopes that it would be better than it was.

At no point was I worried for any of the characters nor did they ever seem like they were in a great deal of danger.  This I found odd, because with a heard of killer elves running amok I should at least feel a little suspense, at the very least I should be a little concerned.  I also couldn’t get behind a lot of what motivated the character’s to act they way they did, nor was I fully on board with the film’s reality where elves are harvested and shipped to other countries.  It’s almost like there was too much going on when the film could have been entertainingly simple.

I know this review might sound like I completely hate this movie but I don’t.  If anything, most of my criticisms come from me building this movie up to be something that it wasn’t.  Had I not anticipated so much maybe I wouldn’t have been as let down as I was.  Oh well, bring on the next Christmas movie.

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