Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
This isn’t so far in tone from Troll Hunter, another take on myths and fairy tales with a pitch black streak of humour running through it. Atmospherically directed by Jaimari Helander, the plot concerns an archeological dig that has exhumed Santa Claus, frozen in a block of ice for hundreds of years. But this is the original, pre-Coca Cola, Santa Claus, who preys on naughty boys and can’t abide bad language.
While it initially looks as if we’re going to follow the (American-led) archeological team, the action soon switches to a Finnish boy and his father (who works as a butcher; a reindeer harvest they were planning has been attacked, cutting off their major income source). The boy is the only one able to work out what has been going on, and it takes a fair amount of carnage before his father and friends are convinced.
The climax tries a little too hard to Hollywood it up with its grand action set piece, but as a whole this is an amusing, highly original little film. And Santa Claus himself (or is it?) is strikingly redefined as a butt-naked old man with a long white beard and a yen for gingerbread. He reminded me slightly of a scrawnier version of Father Jack.