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Review: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Could it be: a non-campy holiday-themed horror film?
By S. I. ROSENBAUM  |  December 22, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars

 

Pietari (Onni Tommila) lives in the icy mountains of Finland. He lives alone with his father, a reindeer herder; his mother is dead. Up on the mountain, some Americans are excavating, making a mess with dynamite. "Geological samples," the local men mutter. Pietari knows it's something far worse: they're exhuming the grave of Santa Claus. Soon, the reindeer are dead. The miners have vanished. And there's something unspeakable in the bear trap of Pietari's father . . . A horror movie about Santa might seem to lend itself to camp, but director Jalmari Helander never so much as winks at his audience. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is beautifully shot and scored, and the pacing is perfect. 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.

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  Topics: Reviews , movie review, Horror
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