Review… Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Christmas. A time for giving. A time for receiving. A time for escaping from the evil clutches of Santa Claus.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (five stars)
If John Carpenter ever goes festive and makes a holiday special of The Thing, it might end up looking something like Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. Don’t let the terrible title put you off – this is a seasonal gem well worth ripping open someone else’s stocking for. This dark Finnish reworking of the usual pre-packaged schmaltzy Christmas story – instead of dropping sacks of toys off to children, not-so-jolly old Saint Nick drops children into sacks (and, uh, cauldrons of boiling water) – brilliantly straddles the fine line between frightening and farcical. ‘The Coca-Cola Santa Claus was just a hoax,’ the film tells us early on, setting the tone for an alternative winter’s tale in which a shotgun-toting young boy tries to save Christmas from the nastiest Père Noël since Billy Bob Thornton. If you ever want a kid to be nice not naughty, show them this.
This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper