Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Film Review: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Review)
Finland/Norway/France/Sweden/2010
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"I can't wait to watch it again next year."

During the Christmas time, a group of local reindeer herders, including a young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila), are disrupted by a nearby excavation. When their herd is found mysteriously dead, the herders find the excavation site has been abandoned...

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale continues with Pietari telling his father, and anyone that will listen for that matter, that the real Santa Clause is out to get him -- an evil Santa Clause who will punish the naughty. Eventually, they find an injured man in a wolf trap who doesn't speak and has a striking resemblance to the fairy tale. After a failed interrogation, Pietari convinces the group that they found the Santa Clause from his books. The story is pushed further after an interesting twist on the fairy tale. The final sequence of the film is exhilarating and fun, while the actual ending is an interesting twist on Rare Exports.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a fantastic fantasy horror film. It takes a classic fairy tale and spins it, while keeping the Christmas magic. It's not particularly frightening, but it does have an ominous tone and some creepy visuals. The ominous tone has an enchanting feel -- the atmosphere in general is pleasing and engaging. Like Hansel and Gretel (the South Korean film), this is a film that really keeps you hooked through its masterful atmosphere and creative story. The pacing is very fast and fluid, and the story is very full -- this is further complimented by the short runtime. And, it tells a complete story -- simple, but complete.

I enjoyed the entire cast as everyone delivers believable performances. Onni Tommila delivers an impressive performance, as well; his character may feel annoying and irritatingly disobedient, but it feels like this is how an actual kid would react -- and he nails it. I love the music in the film, it's enchanting, ominous, and exhilarating. The film looks beautiful -- the cinematography is superb, the film looks amazing with an amazing use of vibrant lighting. This is a film that should be enjoyed with Blu-ray quality video and audio. The story and film are tightly written and directed.

Overall, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a fantastic fantasy film with great horror elements. The film just feels like Christmas -- so much that I've been watching it each year since 2011 as my holiday tradition. Yes, this is only my third time, but it's as amazing as the first. I can't wait to watch it again next year.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, and nudity.

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