Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Reviews
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.
A little terrifying but brilliant film figuring eventually a happy ending.
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.
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.
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)