Friday Night Movie Recommendation | Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Friday Night Movie Recommendation | Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

It’s the first Friday of December and that means that it’s FINALLY Christmas movie recommendation time! I can’t hold out on this one so I’m actually going to recommend my favourite (or at least one of my top three favourites) movie for you guys today. There’s a couple reasons for this. Firstly, it’s awesome. Secondly, some of you may have heard about a movie coming out today called Krampus. Well, remember how annoyed I was that Hunger Games ripped off the incredible Battle Royale? It’s the same thing here. The storyline is classic European folklore but I don’t want to hear everyone going on and on about how unique and interesting it is when the movie was already made in 2010 (Rare Exports) – and it’s amazing. Ugh. America, ripping off all the great foreign films. Anyways, I digress, I suppose it’s about time to get to the review.


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is based on the European legend that the first Santa Clause is a giant horned beast (Krampus) who comes out around Christmas to punish naughty children. Young Pietari (Onni Tommila) knows that something is amiss when local children start to go missing and reindeer are being found dead.  His father is a reindeer herder and with all the dead reindeer about, there is a serious concern for their livelihood. Though no one believes him, Pietari knows that these strange occurrences have something to do with this ancient version of Santa and he is determined to stop him before it’s too late.


This horror-fantasy-thriller-comedy directed by Jalmari Helander is as terrifying as it is surprisingly funny. It really taps in to the original folklore and pays homage to the rich history. Pietari’s earnest nature and strong beliefs make us believers too, at least for the 80 minute running time.  And, although it has some funny moments, it is never campy. This films plays it really straight laced which only adds to the lore and the tension; there is a lot of buildup in this film and the stakes are high.


Another positive for this film is the cinematography and the score. The locale is small village by Korvatunturi mountain in Finland and the shots make the best use of the beautiful scenery. Similarly, the score is wonderful and does nothing but add to the feeling of the film.


Best of all though, is that this still feels like a Christmas movie. It has a struggling family that finds its way and gets closer throughout the movie; it has a sense of hope and community; it is full of whimsical and festive atmosphere; it’s perfect.

All in all, this is a great Christmas movie that you shouldn’t miss this season. It is pretty dark and scary, which isn’t common in Christmas movies, but it’s also beautiful to watch, filled with rich Christmas folklore and truly endearing characters. Watch it!


23 thoughts on “Friday Night Movie Recommendation | Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

  1. Great review lady! This is going to be the year that I watch this, I swear! Every time I try to, something comes up. But not this year. This year it is happening. I want to see this BEFORE I get my hands on Krampus, so whoop! This totally looks like my kind of thing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s incredible. Have you read the book? It’s just as good, if not better because it gives you some more insight into the characters. Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely be watching it and letting you know my thoughts


      2. Yup, read the book and the manga too. However the manga is much different, creating it’s own backstories for the characters, some extremely explicit, whilst altering some of the action/deaths storylines too. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Depends on how squeamish you are or open minded towards explicit sexual images. It’s certainly an interesting adjunct/companion to the book and film (more so the book) and very well drawn, but is also different enough to raise a few eyebrows.

        It’s 15 volumes so I’ll leave it to your own discretion so you won’t blame me if you do read it and hate it! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! A great holiday recommendation for a horror fanboy like me. Awesome review too, with a few good laughs. This flick is a “rare” treat indeed. It gave me 80s vibes, like this kid could totally be a Goonie 😉 I thought the same thing about Krampus, same Gremlins type vibe and same massively horned beast. Deffo agree with what you say about that comparison / American ripoff. Exports is a b movie done right. Thanks for highlighting this hidden gem and spreading the word. This Christmas movie is all sorts of twisted fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! More people need to know about this movie. It just annoys me when people see movies like The Hunger Games and Krampus and don’t know about the foreign stories that are similar like Battle Royale and Rare Exports (which are better in my opinion – not that I’ve seen Krampus yet, haha!). It did have a Goonies vibe – I didn’t even think about that but you’re totally right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome… Owning a videostore, I know people avoid subtitles – no matter how good the film is. I would say they’re missing out, and you get better at reading/watching as you watch more movies. Plus, you get the original performance too. Imagine something like Ace Ventura with a French dub or something. Only Jim Carrey can pull that off. Deffo on your side here, Mel. Thanks for spreading the word, maybe more folks will give subtitled awesomeness like Battle Royale a chance.

        (By the way, loved your Random Chat podcast debate with David and Kim about that. You definitely held your ground. I’m with ya on that one. Big time!)

        Liked by 1 person

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