Flash Movie Review: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Almost every town, neighborhood and village has its own folk tales. In the neighborhood where I grew up there were 2 houses that all of us kids believed were haunted. One house was perched on the corner of my block. Painted in a dark brown color, there were curling vines that creeped up the sides of the house scarring the paint off the wood, leaving the brooding house looking wounded. The other house was a couple of blocks away from our apartment but I never ventured by its rounded gate that had spikes on the top. My friends and I knew not to stop at these houses during Halloween. In my travels I have come across an area’s legends and stories; some had a fun quirkiness to them while others were used to explain the unexplainable. In this adventure fantasy film I loved the folklore presented to set up the story. While a mysterious archaeological dig was taking place in the mountains above the village; young Pietari Kontio, played by Onni Tommila (Last Cowboy Standing) noticed several children had gone missing right before Christmas. This film festival winning movie captured my attention immediately even with it also being considered a horror film. Set in the mountains of Finland, I felt I was transported to the coldness of the town as little clues were being dropped to the viewer, leading us like a lamb to slaughter. I knew no one in the cast, such as Jorma Tommila (Priest of Evil, Sisters Apart) as Pietari’s father Rauno and Tommi Korpela (The Home of Dark Butterflies, A Man’s Job) as Aimo; but it did not matter, it only heightened my belief that I was watching the actual town folk. The story was wickedly dark and amusing at the same time; I just found it creative in a twisted sort of way. Now I have no idea whether this tale was actually based on some true folk legend, but I found it to be a brilliant method to keep the viewer guessing as the plot unfolded. It was amazing to me how the writers took basic things most of us knew or had heard of and turned them into something different with sinister overtones. If you plan on seeing this picture be prepared because there were a couple of gruesome scenes. As some of you know I am not a big fan of horror movies, but I have to tell you I had a great time watching this film. It certainly gave a new meaning to the phrase, “…who was naughty or nice.” There were a couple of scenes with blood that some may find disturbing. Finnish with English subtitles.
3 1/4 stars — DVD