Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Around the World: Finland

First post of the new year and I'm proud to say that its for my self given challenge. From the land of the real Santa Claus/Father Christmas comes a creepy story which I kind of wish I saw over Christmas. I think it would have calmed me down before cooking for everyone or made me more grounded in the lead up to Christmas day. I know better for next year.

Just to recap, the challenge I have set myself is to watch, ideally, 80 films this year from around the world. My first choice was Finland, a place which I am happy to say that I visited last year as part of a resolution. But I do wish to explore of the countryside as I only visited Helsinki and Tampere.

Rare Exports very interestingly doesn't begin with the title of the film after a short scene on a mountain top where an unknown 'thing' is about to be unerathed, a logo appears to introduce the story. Pietari is the heart of the story. He lives with his Dad, a butcher, in small cut off community who rely on the reindeer for food and income. But after the odd excavation on the mountain, strange things happen. An entire herd of reindeer are slaughtered, weird footsteps in the snow on the roof, potato sacks with out the potatoes taken and the old man, found in an illegal wolf trap. But this old man is not what he seems. Pietari believes that the real Santa Claus from fairytales has come back. The evil Santa Claus with horns and a cauldron to boil children. At first his fantasies seem ridiculous but its not long before the rest of the men in the village understand.

A creepy Christmas story that from the outside looks to be a horror story but is infact a triumphant tale about courage, as well as the creepy and severe unsettling fact that Santa Claus is evil and puts children in sacks and replaces them in bed with wooden versions. With Onni Tommila as Pietari, he really makes you part of the story, whether he is scaring himself or taking charge of the situation.

Another fantastic part of the film is seeing the snow covered mountains. Of course seeing more the landscape would have been great but the feeling of isolation is felt with the small community gathering together to herd the reindeer. It felt like a Finnish story. Or at least, it felt like that to me.

From Finland we shall we heading south, but the destination has not been picked yet as there are a few options...

Coming soon 


  1. I really enjoyed this film. I read somewhere that this was a children's film (or a horror film for children) - I was kind of surprised that this was marketed for children. Then again, there's a folklore story involved. I liked how things ended, and it's a great film for Christmas time.

  2. This is such a cool idea for a goal! I love it. I haven't seen any Finnish films, I believe. This one sounds very different, I think I'd like to check it out.