the colonial theatre marquee

Rare Exports

Directed by Jalmari Helander. Finland. 2010. R. 84 minutes. Oscilloscope. 35mm.
Sponsored by Jon Ewald
Fri., December 4, 2015
December 4, 2015
10:00 pm

*NEW DATE: Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 10PM* Featuring beer sponsored by Sly Fox Brewing Company and the Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Ugly Sweater Contest (it’s cold in Finland, Krampus is one ugly dude) for a chance to win one of two grand prizes in one of two categories: 1) Ugliest sweater and 2) Best handmade ugly sweater (Decorate a sweatshirt or sweater with your materials of choice – felt, yarn, LEDs, plastic, clock gears, buttons, etc!) As long as it’s over-the-top and ugly, you’re good to go.

“In the wilds of northern Finland sits a small mountain, in the middle of a community of reindeer-ranchers. According to the research of young Onni Tommila, the mountain is actually a burial mound, erected centuries ago by villagers who froze and trapped Santa Claus. This would be the real Santa Claus, not the Coca-Cola Santa. This is the Santa who beats and tortures naughty childrenand to this Santa, every child is at least a little bit naughty.

In his debut feature, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, writer-director Jalmari Helander repeats some ideas from his popular shorts Rare Exports Inc. and Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions. Here, he imagines a scenario where a corporate fat cat from Subzero Inc. finances an operation to find and excavate Santa. Around the same time, an old man with a long white beard shows up in a wolf-trap set by Onnis father, Jorma Tommila. The dad wants to hold the coot hostage and get Subzero to pay back the money he lost when wild beasts slaughtered his reindeer herd. But the son is worried, because local children have begun disappearing, and he suspects Santas elves are responsible.

Rare Exports takes a little too long to get cranked upespecially given that its less than 80 minutes longand Helander doesnt hit his horror, action, or comedy beats as hard as he couldve. But hes a fiendishly clever image-maker, and Rare Exports is full of wonderfully twisted visions, from the creepy life-sized dolls Santas helpers leave behind when they snatch a kid to the giant warehouse door that resembles an advent calendar, right down to the big 24. And its hard not to like a movie in which a little kid whos so skittish that he totes around a protective stuffed animal suddenly stares down the grown-ups, cocks a gun, and snarls, Its either me or Santa. I suggest Santa. Rare Exports is slight but fun: a potential new holiday classic for moviegoers who always suspected that any old dude who sneaks into houses cant really be as jolly as his reputation.” (Noel Murray, The A.V. Club)