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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rare Exports: A Christmas TaleJust imagine you have found out that
  Santa Claus really did exist, but was
  not the benign, kindly gentleman who
  loved children that you had been led
  to believe — as a young boy discovers
  in the brilliantly-executed, thrilling tale
  Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
...”

A MASSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION on a mountain on the Russian border close to their remote rural homes holds fascination for young Pietari (the cute and talented Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmori Järvenpää, a terrific foil). But there is danger lurking beneath the rocks.

The two boys have entered a forbidden area, cutting a hole in the fence, in order to watch the excavations. But Pietari knows a thing or two about folklore and warns Juuso about a legend of a vengeful Santa Claus, a supernatural being who does unspeakable things to naughty children and who was frozen in ice and buried under a pile of rocks.

Juuso scoffs at Pietari's fears but that night Pietari's discovers footprints on his roof and believes that the evil Santa has paid him a visit. The discovery by his widowed father Rauno (a sympathetic Jorma Tommila) and the men of the community that the large herd of Reindeer the townsfolk depended upon for their livelihood has been slain spells disaster for them and they believe it is the work of wolves. This conclusion upsets Pietari, who believes he is responsible for the loss of the herd.

An illegal wolf trap is set, but an astonished Rauno finds he has caught something much more lethal than a wolf — something that could make things even worse for him.

Meanwhile, the young and adventurous Pietari finds that all the children have gone missing, which leads him to the shocking, ugly truth about the being known the world over as Santa Claus. The scientists on the mountain believe the mountain to be the largest burial mound in the world and have released a sinister presence upon the population.

Can Pietari use his knowledge of the creature to save his friends and is he brave enough to follow his plan through? So what is the mysterious figure Rauno and his friend Piiporinen (Rauno Juvonen) are now holding captive? Can they turn around their fortunes? Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is an astonishing, thrilling, strange and brilliantly-executed take on the origins of Father Christmas.

The film comes together well and has been described as having elements of The Thing combined with the adolescent adventure spirit of Gremlins, The Goonies and The Monster Squad. This is not your usual Father Christmas. Vegetarians should be warned that Pietari's father is a butcher and there is also some male nudity.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale also stars: Tommi Korpela as Almo; and features: Per Christian Ellefsen as Riley; Peeter Jakobi as Pietari's Elf; Jonathan Hutchings as Greene; and Risto Salmi as The Sheriff.

Director of Photography is Mika Orasmaa, FSC; Visual Effects by Fake Graphics; Original Music by Juri Seppä and Miska Seppä; Producers are: Petri Jokiranta, Knut Skoglund, François-Xavier Frantz and Anna Björk. Written and Directed by Jalmari Helander (who is also responsible for Production Design) and based on the original idea by The Helander Brothers.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale sees Finnish director Jalmari Helander in his critically acclaimed debut feature that is now coming to DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Icon Home Entertainment, on 7 November 2011. Certificate: 15 | Running time: 80 minutes.

"Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is an astonishing, thrilling, strange and brilliantly-executed take on the origins of Father Christmas" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Great fun and visually spectacular ****" — Kevin Maher, The Times

"A Christmas story for people who hate Christmas… executed with such audacious style and with such a big vision that it's impossible to watch without a big grin spreading across your face" — Twitch

"An original, daring, carefully crafted film" — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"A fun family fright flick" — Total Sci-Fi

"Full of wonderfully twisted visions" — The Onion

"The best anti-Christmas Christmas film since Bad Santa" — Village Voice

"Eighties-vintage Joe Dante and Spielberg are the reference points for Finnish Director Jalmari Helander ****" — Total Film

"One of the best (and most brutal) festive kid's films in years" — Little White Lies