Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale


In schoolyards around the world, the debate continues to rage: Is Santa Claus real? Or is he just some concept concocted by parents to keep kids in line year-round? Even us adults can remember having knock-down, drag-out arguments over this. Our parents told us that if we waited up for Santa on Christmas Eve, we’d be quickly relegated to the dreaded “Naughty List,” and we’d get nothing but coal in our stockings. As a public service, this installment of the Holiday Survival Guide will help you win those arguments. Keeping up with the tradition of every child’s desire to capture jolly old St. Nicholas, here are some tricks we can dish out, courtesy of the big entertainment machine called Hollywood. Use them wisely, and be sure to only target the real Santa Claus. Failure to do so may result in injury or even death.



Take a moment to think about Santa Claus. Chances are that you’re thinking of a jolly, fat white dude with a big beard and red tights, being hauled around by 12 overworked, miraculous reindeer, hurling through the night from house to house to deliver magical consumerism to the masses. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Unless you are Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander. His idea for Santa, steeped in some folklore, is far more dangerous, violent and worth burying underneath a mountain if you have such resources. It was a vision come to life in his film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, perhaps one of the most brilliant yuletide ho-ho-horror movies since the original St. Nick was putting coins in the shoes of unsuspecting children. And if that description wasn’t enough, we’ve also got some exclusive original artwork created for the film. I’ve included it as large as our layout will allow, so as to maximize the creep factor.


Rare Exports Art

What is Movie News After Dark? As of this evening, it’s a nightly movie news column that’s just happy to have a place to call home. It’s thankful for hard working code monkeys and developer-types who worked countless hours to put Humpty Dumpty (that’s actually what we call our server — coincidence, perhaps) back together again. Now it’s time to do the news. We begin tonight with the best pumpkin design I’ve seen thus far, a Dalek from Doctor Who. It was sent to me by our spooktacular Managing Editor Cole Abaius this afternoon in an email titled “Just in case we have a website ever again…” It’s been a stressful weekend.



This is the best week of Blu-ray releases of 2011. Mark my words. No seriously, write it into your calendars. Between the breakout geek genre hit of the year, a Blu-ray set 65 million years in the making, a hero we can all believe in, creepy Finnish Santas, some Criterion confusion and Serbians doing terrible, terrible things to each other, this may be the most well-rounded, exciting week of releases we’ve seen in a long time. And it all begins with a must-have Pick of the Week… Attack the Block When Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright got together and decided to make a film about a group of hoodlums who face down an alien invasion, they probably didn’t think of you or me once. They didn’t know that they’d be custom-tailoring a sci-fi comedy for the nerd set that would ignite crowds and become the cult hit of this (and probably a few other years). They couldn’t have known. But they moved forward anyway, with a cast of unknowns and some killer creature designs, creating what could go down as the geek film of 2011. What’s more impressive about this release? Even though I didn’t receive a review copy, I’m making it pick of the week. Usually I’m a big whiney baby, who gets a bunch of review material, only to pick it apart week to week. But this week I’m putting my own money where my mouth is. In a week when competition comes from one of the longest awaited Blu […]



Ah, Christmas. The magical time of year when decorations are hung, families gather to celebrate, gifts are exchanged, and children cower in fear that Santa Claus will kidnap and eat them. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a fantastic family adventure film from Finland that has all the hallmarks of a holiday classic. A young boy finds the adventure of a lifetime when the miners in his village discover a legendary figure buried in the ice. But not everyone is thrilled at the discovery, and soon some very peculiar and frightening beings are swarming down the mountain in search of their captured leader. Now father and son must join forces along with the other villagers to stop the onslaught. Merry Christmas! As evident in Cole Abaius’ review we here at FSR really enjoyed this fresh, fun, genitalia-filled family holiday film, and now you can too. Oscilloscope Labs is releasing a beautifully-produced Bluray/DVD combo pack on Tuesday the 25th, and you should probably go out and buy a copy… or you can enter to win one of two free copies! Here’s how to win… and pay attention as it’s a two-parter. First, tell us in the comments section below what your favorite Christmas film is. Easy right? Now tell us how and where in that specific film you think it could use more penis.



As I expressed earlier in the week as our 2010 Year in Review began, I take it as a great honor that I am able to put together my list of the Best Films of the Year as part of my Editor’s Picks entry. And while I’m a massive fan of my own perspective and opinions, I’m an even bigger fan of the writing and ever-diverse tastes of the Film School Rejects reviewing staff. These are the folks who, through their sensational (and often divisive) review-writing, keep you coming back for more each and every day. They travel the world and brave the crowds at festivals, conventions, preview screenings and special events to bring you some of the industry’s sharpest, most honest film coverage. And I for one am honored to have them all on this team. Just as I did last year, I couldn’t wait to see which films each writer would put on their Top 5 lists as the best films of the year. And just as they did last year, they didn’t disappoint with their unique, ever-fascinating selections. So read on dear reader, as we present the crown jewel of our 2010 Year in Review: The Staff Picks.



One of my favorite non-starters for articles is the very bland “as you may know.” There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve seen me use it in the past (I’m doing it again right now). So when I thought about how to begin this year’s top ten article, I wanted to begin by saying “as you may know, one of my great honors around here is to deliver my list of the ten best films of the year.” But you may not know how much of an honor that really is. In fact, it’s difficult for me to put into words how honored I feel to have anyone read this at all, let alone the scores of readers we see on a daily basis here at Film School Rejects. It’s safe to say that I speak for everyone here when I say that I am deeply honored by the opportunity just to write about film. You, the reader, offer that to us every day with your patronage. So my hope is that I can do you proud, dear reader, as I present my list of the ten best films of 2010. This year saw a great deal of personal turmoil for me, meaning some movie-watching blind spots. But some late-year scrambling has pushed my total films seen number well north of 200. And of those 200 or so eligible films, whittling it down to ten wasn’t quite as difficult as it’s been in recent years. Does that mean that […]


Disturbing Movie Santas

You can always re-watch Miracle on 34th Street for a little holiday magic, but if you’re tired of the same old sweet Santa Claus, there are plenty of options out there – movies made from sick people who chose to pervert Santa Claus into either something he’s not or something he used to be back when he stole bad little children and cooked them into stew. Man, Icelandic Santa myths are messed up. There’s Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, the ridiculous Hulk Hogan Santa With Muscles, and the always iconic mall Santa from A Christmas Story, but this list isn’t for those who simply don the red costume. This list is for the man himself – the giant elf who flies around the world giving presents and coal, and drinking your milk. Oh, Santa. What have these filmmakers done to you?



If you are anything like us, 2010 has felt like much of a let down at the movies, especially lately. What with all of the talk about the year’s final tentpole being a bust and the Golden Globes nominating a movie with Christina Aguilera not once, but twice, it’s easy to see how post-cinemadum depression may be setting in. Then we watched this incredibly well edited video from an artist named Gen-I. It’s called Filmography 2010, and it makes 2010 feel like it might actually have been a good year at the movies.


Jalmari Helander

The order of the movies being crammed together here is important. For the record, it’s not Rambo meets Home Alone where a former soldier is forced to hole up in a house while tossing paint buckets at people (which sort of just sounds like Home Alone). It’s the other way around – meaning that the movie will be rated V for violent since the MPAA is getting really specific these days. Jalmari Helander, the director of Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, recently revealed in an interview that he’s in the writing phase of his next project, described it by mashing those two movie titles together, and instantly excited anyone who loves small children shooting machine guns. So, that’s everyone, right? [Total Film]


Reject Radio

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter drops by in order to explain why he got circumcised, explain why there was no movie news this week, and to drool professionally over Natalie Portman(‘s career). Plus, we find time to review movies that aren’t coming anywhere near you! Including I Love You Phillip Morris, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, and Black Swan. Listen Here: Download This Episode


The Week That Was

Another rousing week of film industry news, reviews and discussion have come and gone here at Film School Rejects. And as some of us look to relax for the weekend, you may be on the hunt for some of the best reads the web has to offer. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Because we’ve got most of them… So here we go again with another round of my favorite Saturday afternoon Sunday morning column, The Week That Was, a tribute to all of the best FSR content that you probably missed this week. And while we’d normally be angry that you missed so much of the good stuff, we’re willing to let it slide. But just this once. At least until next week…


The Reject Report

Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows and cowboys and Samurai and ballet dancers and princesses with bad perm jobs and Vincent Cassel. If you thought Thanksgiving brought the buffet of eclectic tastes, wait until you get a load of these leftovers. Even with only one film opening wide this weekend, there’s a lot to talk about with the familiar and a few highly anticipated limited releases, so let’s get this microwaved plate of deliciousness on the table, shall we?



Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our Fantastic Fest 2010 coverage, but Rare Exports sees a limited release this weekend, so we so it fit to re-run it for those interested. As we all know, Santa Claus is not to be trusted. He sneaks into our homes in the middle of the night, and doles out punishment for those who have been naughty during the year. If you’ve been nice, he leaves a gift as a symbolis reminder that he’ll be back, and he’ll be watching. Rare Exports takes a look at the darker side of the Santa Claus myth (which is totally real if you’re younger than 8 years old) by displaying the frightening origins of a magic man who steals bad children. After all, Claus is a type of boogeyman. He’s a figure talked about around the campfire to spook children into behaving. He’s a lot like Keyser Soze. We seem to have forgotten that in America (what with all the Tim Allen movies we can stand), but thankfully it’s something they haven’t forgotten in Finland.


Fantastic Fest Mini Banner

With the exception of Gentlemen Broncos, we were spot on with our Must See Films of Fantastic Fest 2009 list last year. While we’d love to take the credit for it, the truth is that it’s Fantastic Fest that came through with a large slate of winners from the weird world of genre. Fantastic Fest is the movie festival for movie lovers, and as the FSR Death Squad assembles yet again, we’re gearing up to attack the event with a renewed fervor by shining the spotlight on the films we’re anticipating the most. We’re pleased to have Adam Charles, Robert Fure, Brian Salisbury, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius (led by the slightly inebriated and deep fried Neil Miller) comprise the Squad this go ’round. As for the Must See movies, this year, we’re enlisted four members of the Squad to choose 5 films each, and the result is a list full of blood, Hong Kong action, gritty Santa Claus stories, geriatric Kung Fu, Dystopian societies, ninjas from Norway, slasher follow-ups, mental trips, creepy clowns, and little girl vampires. A truly sprawling feast for the eyes and ears. Hopefully you’ll be sitting next to us, but if not, we aim to make you feel that way with our coverage. It’s time to get excited. Here are the 20 films that have got us running to the famous Alamo Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest 2010.

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