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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 87
Fresh: 77 | Rotten: 10

Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 2

Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 12,123

My Rating

Movie Info

It's the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an 'archeological' dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn't the one you want coming to town. When the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa's elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their

Oct 25, 2011


Oscilloscope Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (87) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (10) | DVD (3)

For anyone who can look a little askance at the monster that contemporary Christmas has become, this artfully made Finnish tale is -- I kid you not -- a real treat.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Conceived with winking humor and a terrific visual style, the pic is a rare treat.

January 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Santa shows his dark side in this wildly idiosyncratic horror flick from Finnish writer-director Jalmari Helander.

January 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" is a rather brilliant lump of coal for your stocking hung by the fireside with care.

December 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too crazy? Good luck telling that to the filmmakers inviting you to spend the holidays with the anti-Claus.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale explores the dark side of the Santa Claus myth -- if myth he is -- and finds humor, and horror, lurking there.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jalmari Helander's film has fun with the idea that Christmas, with all its kid-friendly commercialism, has horrific, blood-soaked roots, like a Chuck E. Cheese built over a plague pit.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Montreal Gazette
Montreal Gazette

One of the best Christmas horror movies I've seen.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

This is a Christmas film like none you have ever seen before.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Helander and company have done such a wonderful job at forming the foundation of a new mythology that we can't help but want more. And if we can all be good little girls and boys, perhaps we'll get just that.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Rare Exports is a darkly amusing and mildly menacing film whose chief benefit is the skewed courage with which it undermines all that is decent and heartwarming at this time of the year.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source:

By the end, Helandar's movie feels more like an elaborate punchline to an overwrought joke, a thematic gibe more appropriate for a short film.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

You'd better watch out. You'd better not swear. Have a gun handy, loaded for bear. Santa Claus is Finland.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Beautifully shot and always fascinating, Rare Exports succeeds on many levels. But the final payoff just never seems to come.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

a holiday movie for the horror movie fan

December 17, 2011 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A wonderfully strange concoction of dry comedy, weird horror, and Christmas-related craziness.

September 5, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet

If there's any justice in the world, this will be playing on loop future Christmases alongside A Christmas Story.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

What's awesome about movies from other countries is that you get to experience strange juxtapositions of elements you might not find in Hollywood movies that get test-marketed until all the jarring bits have been sanded down.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

Brevity is the soul of wit, and while Helander seems to understand this with his snappy runtime, there is only barely enough new material here to justify a feature production.

February 10, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture | Comment (1)
What Culture


January 26, 2011 Full Review Source:

A bloody, but oddly entertaining, holiday ho-ho-horror story.

January 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

I love Christmas movies and I have seen quite a few of them, but I can safely say that there's nothing else quite like Rare Exports, an import from Finland.

January 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A darkly comic throwback to the kiddie horror pics of the '80s, cheeky and just a bit grotesque.

December 23, 2010 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

This Finnish Christmas tale looks better than most other films from Europe. Arthouse lovers could complain that it got Hollywoodized too much, but the wonderfully wacky story of "the original" Santa tale should please everyone with a sense for unusual horror. The mix of traditional folklore, family story and monster film just works really great together. Especially the ending is so clever you can't help but hope this is a true story.
December 23, 2013

Super Reviewer

Interesting movie. Rather strange, if you ask me. I'm not sure I get why so many people seemed to love it. This was an unanimated Tim Burton kind of Christmas movie. My biggest disappointment with the film is what we don't get to see. I didn't understand why we got to see a bunch of less than adorable naked elderly elves, but we couldn't get a single shot of Santa? It was also confusing that the first hour of the story is for older kids or adults, and then once the young boy starts calling the shots, it's reverses back to a kid's film. Not much magical, or mystical, about this particular fairytale. Dark, but weird...
May 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Cast: Per Christian Ellefsen, Peeter Jakobi, Tommi Korpela, Jorma Tommila, Jonathan Hutchings, Onni Tommila, Risto Salmi, Rauno Juvonen, Ilmari Järvenpää

Director: Jalmari Helander

Summary: In the frozen beauty of Finland, local reindeer herders race against the clock to capture an ancient evil: Santa Claus. A single dad and his son are caught up in the chaos as scientists dig for artifacts. What they find endangers the entire village.

My Thoughts: "I really liked the concept of this movie. I thought it was a brilliant idea... Lets make Santa a child murdering freak of nature and have old naked men as the elves. Crazy right?! I wouldn't call the movie scary, even if I think kids would freak out, but considering the elves (as I mentioned above, they are old naked men), I'm pretty sure no parent is going to allow their young ones to watch this.. Well unless they are a bit twisted. It's a rare dark Christmas treat. Someone previously wrote that it felt like an 80's film, and I couldn't agree more. Which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Hope more see it. Enjoy!"
April 17, 2012

Super Reviewer

A fun alternative to the regular Christmas faire, The best way to describe Rare Exports is The Thing, as directed by Steven Speilberg, on a low budget, set in Norway, with Santa as the titular character.
And it's kind of awesome...until it kind of endorses slavery at the end (or at least "human" trafficking.
February 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Rare Exports (DE)
  • A Christmas Tale - Rare Exports (UK)
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