Posted on 1/24/11 11:02 AM
This film will expose you to the actual tradition of Santa Clause. Not the smiling Santa that has been adopted in western culture via early Coca Cola advertising campaigns, but rather the Santa of pagan lore, who throws little kids into his sack presumably for some kind of cruel torturous beatings. The REAL Santa apparently values punishment over reward as a motivation for good behavior.
The film introduces us to this Scandinavian folklore by way of a greedy modern American corporation digging up some immortal Santa Clause creature from his enormous tomb. Local herders get involved as Santa's newly freed minions begin to slaughter their reindeer, steel their belongings and kidnap their children. Oddly enough, the latter act seems to be the least noticeable one, to these simple people. The final child to remain unabducted, also happens to be a dreamer who actually figures out what's going on weeks before any adult does. This little boy bravely fights the army of "Santa's Helpers" (several hundred naked cannibalistic immortal men), as he tries to save the bag-loads of local children from that "Satan" Clause monster.
The fun of this film is found in its ridiculous "alien invasion" structure (although substituting the supernatural Santa Clause instead of aliens) and in its social commentary. What does the mega-corporation want with this Santa creature? As usual with mega-corporations, I'm sure it isn't anything positive for society. The ending was a bit rushed, as a higher Hollywood budget could have helped fill out the action/effects scenes better, in this particular case. The acting is all over the top, sort of a pseudo-horror movie style. The directing is standard, with nice shots of the beautiful northern Finland scenery, but some cliche action motifs. Lets also throw in a warning that this may be a bit too bloody for people expecting to see something like "Elf".
Overall I'd recommend this for the ultimate change of pace Christmas movie since Die Hard!