Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Jalmari Helander
Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Tommi Korpela
"Unwrapping the Dark Delights of `Rare Exports`"

Posted Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023 137

Set in the frosty landscapes of Finnish Lapland, `Rare Exports` flips the script on the traditional Christmas narrative, delving deep into the region`s darker folklore. A research team discovers something ancient and unexpectedly sinister buried beneath a mountain, leading the local reindeer herders and a young boy to face chilling consequences.

Veering sharply from the merry and light, this film delves into the themes of myth vs reality and the loss of innocence. With a tone that balances eerie suspense with dark humor, `Rare Exports` reshapes the holiday movie mold.

The cast brings to life an array of unique characters, led by the young Onni Tommila as Pietari, delivering a surprisingly mature performance. The actors capture the grit and wit of survivalists caught in a tale as cold as their environment.

Director Jalmari Helander commands the storytelling with a steady hand, expertly juxtaposing the innocence of a child`s worldview with the stark realities of the folklore-inspired narrative.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale movie review

The score underpins the film with a sense of impending doom, punctuating the mystery and tension of the plot while invoking a hauntingly beautiful Christmas atmosphere.

The cinematography is starkly beautiful, capturing the vast, poignant isolation of the snow-covered Finnish landscape and the dark enchantment of the unfolding tale.

Production design is meticulous, crafting an environment that is at once familiar and otherworldly, fully immersing the viewer in the twisted reality of the story.

The special effects are used sparingly, enhancing the film’s sense of realism and grounding the more fantastical elements in physical plausibility.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale movie review

Editing weaves the multifaceted storylines with precision, maintaining a tight grip on the pacing and suspense while still allowing moments of character development to breathe.

The film`s pace is deliberate, slowly ratcheting up the tension and intrigue before accelerating towards a climax as unpredictable as it is satisfying.

Dialogue is efficient and impactful, often laconic, it slices through the icy scenes with a dry wit that complements the film`s overall aesthetic.

While `Rare Exports` is an atmospheric gem, some might find its departure from traditional Christmas themes disconcerting. The interplay between childlike wonder and dark folklore may not resonate with all audiences, yet for those willing to embrace its unconventional narrative, the film is a haunting holiday treat.

The sensation of `Rare Exports` is akin to unwrapping a peculiar gift—it`s unexpected, perhaps a little unsettling, but ultimately enthralling. Its ability to evoke a sense of both dread and wonderment is a testament to the film`s unique charm, leaving a chilling yet poignant impression that lingers like the cold Finnish winter.