Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Reviews

Page 1 of 49
½ April 8, 2018
Zany creepy Finnish fun.
January 8, 2018
Surprising horror/comedy that takes a twisted look on Christmas. The cast is solid across the board, with Onni Tommila appealing as the child lead. Behind the camera, director Jalmari Helander crafts a truly unique film that mines the legends of both Santa Claus & Krampus, leading a surprisingly epic & scary film (you'll never look at a guy in a Santa suit the same way again). He also throws in some fun comedy, especially the crazy twist at the end. Admittedly, it is a unique taste and note for everyone, but for anyone looking for something a little different for your holiday film rotation, this is a great addition.
½ January 7, 2018
haha this was weird; i think i liked it? i went into it thinking it was a horror movie, & it's really not scary -- it's funny though! that kid -- super unrealistic, haha. whatevs.
½ January 6, 2018
There is a minimal amount of English spoken in this movie. Most of the dialogue is only in English subtitles. This does not slow up this movie in any way. The on-point acting almost makes the foreign (Norwegian and Finnish) dialect irrelevant. This is a very funny movie. However be warned, there is gore and deaths on screen.

This movie goes into the "true" story of the original Santa and his elves. While the plot is straightforward, the cluelessness, but not stupidity, of the adult locals makes one unexpected character the hero and savior.

The editing is fast, no scene ever overstays its welcome. The actors are all well-cast. The standout is the son Pietari Kontio (as acted by Onni Tommila) of Rauno Kontio (as acted by Jorma Tommila). Pietari is a child of many abilities which seem to escalate in value as this movie speeds towards its well-filmed conclusion. The director (Jalmari Helander) keeps this movie going at a brisk pace leaving the viewer wanting more, but more is not needed. The cinematography is beautiful, with at least a slight debt to the setting, Korvatunturi mountains within a national park in Finland.

This movie is for those interested in horror, humor and fantasy.
December 9, 2017
Let's face it: Santa Claus is inherently creepy. Constant surveillance, lives in isolation, uncomfortably interested in the lives of children. That's what makes Rare Exports so great...it pulls out that fundamental eeriness so nicely. Visually, this thing is awesome, but much like the Santa legend itself, it relies on our imagination more than our sight to keep us disturbed. And the mob of naked Santa's running toward the kid is priceless.
June 21, 2017
Santa-noir. Absolutely loved this gem. Captures the dry humour of the Finns, as well as the dark terror of their endless winter nights. A great antidote to all the sappy Christmas movies that we're inflicted with. This is for kids of all ages who enjoy that element of sinister. Brrrr!
½ February 11, 2017
Starts off somewhat interesting and promising, but soon becomes quite cheesy.
½ January 5, 2017
From the same people who brought us Big Game comes one of the best new Christmas movies in years. In fact, this is what Krampus should have been. This is also from the land that brings us Santa Claus.
½ December 25, 2016
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is the best Finnish films. Humor, cursing and horror elements in Jalmari Helander directed and scripted the film. Movie heroes are not oxen men with shotguns on his back, but someone else.
A little terrifying but brilliant film figuring eventually a happy ending.
December 23, 2016
It's definitely preferable over nearly all Christmas themed movies and I had looked forward to seeing this for some years now and yet I was pretty disappointed. I guess i had anticipated it to be more creepy than it is and I just didn't care for any of the characters save the small, endearing boy who ends up saving Christmas.
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2016
This movie will not be for everyone. I just wanted to get that out of the way first before going into the details. This can be a very off-putting film at times, but it is also an undeniably well-made film. During the holiday season, I as much as anyone, enjoy to kick back with family and watch some classic Christmas films, but I do wish that more films like this would be released. Sometimes you just need a little jerk into reality once in a while. This is the darkest Christmas tale involving Santa Claus that I have ever seen. Mostly in the language of Finnish and only at a mere 80 minutes, this is a very quick film to get through if you don't mind reading subtitles. Here is why Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is so enjoyable and memorable.

From the very beginning, it is clear that this will not be just another average Christmas or horror flick. Beginning with reindeer being slaughtered on the day that an elderly man appears in a bear trap is just a little taste of what is to come. This film is really about two kids being in the wrong place at the wrong time, setting these events in motion. The elderly man is actually Santa Clause and he attacks and eats living things. His little helpers are other elderly naked men and attempt to slaughter any human in their path. Yes, this film truly is that bizarre. I must admit that the finale does wrap up too quickly and I felt like they were working around a tight budget, even though the filmmaking from beginning to end is gorgeous.

Although cinematographer Mika Orasmaa is not particular renowned as a great cinematographer, in fact making some pretty terrible movies over the past few years, his work on Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale really stood out to me. From the subtly of catching the perfect lighting at sunset or keeping a character front and centre in the frame when needed, this film is wonderful to gawk at. I will also commend the screenplay, even though it is a far more basic story than I was expecting it to be. The concept is what feels original, but aside from that, there really isn't much else adding substance.

As I said, the biggest positives I can commend this film for accomplishing is the fact that they were able to pull of such a large scale on such a small budget, while also delivering some pretty amazing visuals through camerawork and visual effects. It also revitalizes the legend of Santa Claus in a way that may even have adults on edge. There are quite a few thrilling moments sprinkled throughout this film, along with believable performances and a climax that is satisfying enough. Having said all that, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is not perfect. The low budget does present itself on a few occasions and the ending feels very rushed. There is a three act structure to this film, but it does feel more like one continuous act, building throughout the film. Nevertheless, I was very entertained from start to finish.

As I said, In the end this Finnish produced film is an absolute blast from beginning to end. Filled with cool characters, a terrific performance by young Onni Tommila, and a plot that may be a bit outlandish, but works in the end, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale finishes on a clever, but silly note. For many reasons, this is not a perfect film in any way, but I can't deny the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little taste of a whole new genre this holiday season. It has been in release for over six years, but the time has not diminished it. It is a very short and simple tale that is not afraid to visualize the concept in a graphic way. It is absolutely not for kids, but if you know what you are getting into, I highly recommend it.
½ May 19, 2016
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is an incredibly authentic and weird movie with such an original plot to it, some very good scenes and an excellent build-up with a great mysterious tone to it, but it nevertheless disappointed me as its third act felt too Americanized and the filmmakers didn't quite know what to do with this story, ending it in a very disappointing way.
December 28, 2015
Lasten kanssa katsottiin, ja etukäteen vähän varoteltiin. Mutta ehkä se joulumieli ei tästä ihan täysin kadonnut. Leffassa häiritsi sama kuin Big Gamessa, ei Suomen Lapissa ole tuollaisia vuoria. Eikä metsiä. Muuten lavastus oli kiva, ja hauskasti toteutettu. Ei ollenkaan niin paha kuin muistin.

Aiempi arvostelu:
Hmh, olihan aikamoinen tarina, mutta trailerin perusteella odotukset olivat kyllä paljon paljon korkeammalla. Erittäin outo, ihan kivasti tehty, mutta vähän jäi tarina kevyeksi ja perusteet epäselviksi. Yritystä oli (ehkä liiaksikin?), mutta jotain oleellista jäi puuttumaan ja leffa tuntui vähän heppoiselta. Joulun kunniaksi ja hyvästä yrityksestä puoli tähteä enemmän kuin ansaitsisi. Jos haluat mennä katsomaan hyvän suomalaisen leffan, niin valitse tämän sijasta Napapiirin Sankarit.
December 25, 2015
Fun Christmas Horror
December 20, 2015
Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror. 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. The end gets a little silly, but the building tension of the first two acts allows for some deliciously creepy moments and a true feeling of dread: the sense of something very old, and very hungry, shuffling toward you in the Yuletide dark. The focus of this bizarre Finnish fairy tale - as black as anything the Brothers Grimm could have dreamed up - is a sinister old codger who chews off ears and whose demon minion kidnaps innocent children. Both a father-son bonding picture and a Santa-skewering satire, this oddball tale of life on a snowy mountainside is consistently upbeat and surprising, with action intensity that stays sturdily at Goonies level. 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. Beautifully shot and always fascinating, Rare Exports succeeds on many levels. But the final payoff just never seems to come. A bloody, but oddly entertaining, holiday ho-ho-horror story.

VERDICT: "In The Zone" - [Mixed Reaction] These kinds of movies are usually movies that had some good things, but some bad things kept it from being amazing. This rating says buy an ex-rental or a cheap price of the DVD to own. If you consider cinema, ask for people's opinion on the film. (Films that are rated 2.5 or 3 stars)
½ December 20, 2015
Kinda fun, and kept me interested
½ December 19, 2015
151219: This well-made film challenged me intellectually. It is a dark, and sometime scary, tale of Santa and his elves and what happens when multinational corporations attempt to exploit the spirit of Christmas. Though I was not a big fan of the ending, I found it a bit silly, I enjoyed this film quite a bit but then had to do a whole bunch of reading trying to figure out what I had just watched. I have never tried to portray myself as an intellect but I think I'm coming to understand the alleged comedic nature of this film (I did not find myself laughing while watching). I'd love to hear what the writer was thinking in bringing this tale to life. Even with the English subtitles, this was a fun and unique film, satisfying my craving for something different this Christmas season.
Page 1 of 49