Customer Reviews


122 Reviews
5 star:
 (78)
4 star:
 (30)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark And Twisted Christmas--Macabre Humor Highlights This Inventive Finnish Import
Looking for something off the beaten path this Christmas season? The Finnish oddity "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" might just be the cure for your holiday blues. Part fantasy, part horror, part black humor--this delightful film manages to adhere to traditional Christmas movie conventions while upending them at the same time. It's an unusually deft balance that makes...
Published on August 4, 2011 by K. Harris

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ready for a Complete Change of Pace?
Ready for a complete change of pace? Have I got one for you!

The full name of this Finnish tale (English captions) is "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale," and it's about Pietari, a little Lapp boy living with his widowed father in an isolated settlement up near the Russian border. His father depends on reindeer for their livelihood but their way of life is...
Published 5 months ago by Jay B. Lane


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark And Twisted Christmas--Macabre Humor Highlights This Inventive Finnish Import, August 4, 2011
Looking for something off the beaten path this Christmas season? The Finnish oddity "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" might just be the cure for your holiday blues. Part fantasy, part horror, part black humor--this delightful film manages to adhere to traditional Christmas movie conventions while upending them at the same time. It's an unusually deft balance that makes this both hard edged and heartfelt. While not a perfect movie--once the main action begins, things fall rather too conveniently into place--it is distinguished by its brilliantly bold concept. And despite minor reservations, I have to award "Rare Exports" my respect for its unorthodox story line and wickedly acerbic sense of humor. Destined for cult movie status, I have no doubt that this film will perplex some viewers. But for adventurous movie lovers, I can't think of a better antidote to typical holiday fare.

Set in north Finland, the reindeer population is found dead by local herders . Maybe it has something to do with an American work crew excavating a nearby mountain. There is a disturbing legend about Santa in these parts. It seems that the jolly old fellow wasn't so jovial, but instead was quite evil. He was killed and buried in these hills according to lore and it seems that the Americans might be looking for the genuine Santa Claus. As with any good Christmas story, the protagonist is a spirited boy with a hard scrabble life. Spying on the dig, he can't believe what is discovered. But when strange and scary happenings start to consume the town, will he be able to make anyone understand the evil that has been unleashed? It's such a terrific premise, done with slow burn precision. As opposed to an all out assault on your senses, this sly film methodically ratchets up the creepiness and the macabre humor.

This is a bizarre and highly original winner. The plot twists and turns and the climax is refreshingly satisfying. The wintry locales, the propulsive soundtrack, and the good effects add weight to the narrative. But perhaps the film's greatest asset is in its lead performance. So self assured and polished, it's easy to envision this alternate world through his eyes. His relationship with his father is sweet and realistic despite the surreal feel of the picture. I loved this movie, truly, and have no doubt that it will continue to captivate more adventurous audiences as word spreads through the DVD release. For those looking for family entertainment, I would not recommend this to small children (hopefully that is already clear). But for anyone looking for a new holiday viewing tradition, check this out. This will join A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life as our yearly favorites. It's not perfect--but its sheer inventiveness makes up for any shortcomings. KGHarris, 8/11.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your normal Christmas Story., January 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First I saw the trailer. Then, I saw the movie in the theater. Then, I joyfully bought the Blue Ray/DVD, which comes with both Blue Ray and a regular DVD, which I gave to a good friend of mine from Finland.
Rare Exports is a rather tense thriller/black comedy. I wouldn't recommend for children even though the movie has brilliant child actors in it. The cool thing about this film is that it wipes away the gloss and pizzazz of today's Coca-Cola Santa, and brings back the true meaning of "..you better watch out, you better not cry...". At first I was apprehensive about watching a foreign film, but after a few minutes I found reading the subtitles easy because there wasn't that much to read. A lot of action takes place with suggestion at every corner. I hate to give away any spoilers, except that you will love this cult classic and beware of shopping mall Santa's.
Thank you Amazon for shipping it quickly!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, enchanting, inspiring, September 9, 2011
We saw this film at our local cinema, not knowing anything about it. From the opening moments we were gripped and engaged by a wonderful combination I have never experienced in a movie before: interplays of mythology, environment, politics. We left the film with our jaws still dropped. It's beautifully produced, amazingly authentic acting, and like nothing else you will see. The story line is very human and ultimately inspiring. I'm sorry that many people missed it at the cinema, so do get the DVD!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie and great CD case too, February 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (DVD)
This is one of my recent favorite films. I don't have too much to add to the existing reviews of the film itself, but I will add that I was pleasantly surprised by the box the DVD came in. It's not the typical cheap plastic DVD case one expects, but instead was a nicely printed tri-fold with film related inserts. It's something you typically expect from a collector's edition, not a standard edition. That's it. If you like quirky horror films, this is one to see.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different Christmas Story., February 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Thought the movie was clever and funny. Wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has little children who still believe in Santa though. Acting was good. Loved the little boy and his father.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark And Twisted Christmas--Macabre Humor Highlights This Inventive Finnish Import, February 26, 2012
Looking for something off the beaten path this Christmas season? The Finnish oddity "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" might just be the cure for your holiday blues. Part fantasy, part horror, part black humor--this delightful film manages to adhere to traditional Christmas movie conventions while upending them at the same time. It's an unusually deft balance that makes this both hard edged and heartfelt. While not a perfect movie--once the main action begins, things fall rather too conveniently into place--it is distinguished by its brilliantly bold concept. And despite minor reservations, I have to award "Rare Exports" my respect for its unorthodox story line and wickedly acerbic sense of humor. Destined for cult movie status, I have no doubt that this film will perplex some viewers. But for adventurous movie lovers, I can't think of a better antidote to typical holiday fare.

Set in north Finland, the reindeer population is found dead by local herders . Maybe it has something to do with an American work crew excavating a nearby mountain. There is a disturbing legend about Santa in these parts. It seems that the jolly old fellow wasn't so jovial, but instead was quite evil. He was killed and buried in these hills according to lore and it seems that the Americans might be looking for the genuine Santa Claus. As with any good Christmas story, the protagonist is a spirited boy with a hard scrabble life. Spying on the dig, he can't believe what is discovered. But when strange and scary happenings start to consume the town, will he be able to make anyone understand the evil that has been unleashed? It's such a terrific premise, done with slow burn precision. As opposed to an all out assault on your senses, this sly film methodically ratchets up the creepiness and the macabre humor.

This is a bizarre and highly original winner. The plot twists and turns and the climax is refreshingly satisfying. The wintry locales, the propulsive soundtrack, and the good effects add weight to the narrative. But perhaps the film's greatest asset is in its lead performance. So self assured and polished, it's easy to envision this alternate world through his eyes. His relationship with his father is sweet and realistic despite the surreal feel of the picture. I loved this movie, truly, and have no doubt that it will continue to captivate more adventurous audiences as word spreads through the DVD release. For those looking for family entertainment, I would not recommend this to small children (hopefully that is already clear). But for anyone looking for a new holiday viewing tradition, check this out. This will join A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life as our yearly favorites. It's not perfect--but its sheer inventiveness makes up for any shortcomings. KGHarris, 8/11.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finnish fantasy, January 8, 2012
This review is from: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (DVD)
Well made fantasy/dark comedy in true finnish style. The 2003 and 2005 shorts made to obtain the funding for this movie are true comedic gems and really need to be seen in order to appreciate the Finns sense of humor. Little blood and no horror. You are buying for the beautiful scenery and a taste of nordic humor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie if you set expectations right/great blu ray, October 30, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I simply loved this film. I'm coming to build a deep appreciation for Scandinavian horror films, such as this one, let the right one in, dead snow, and so on. They have a very different character than the typical American horror, with more emphasis on atmospheric creepiness, than on surprise scares. Certainly I enjoy both, but depending on my mood, I may gravitate toward one more than the other.

That said, with the right expectations you'll really enjoy this film. As other reviewers accurately point out, this is an interesting re-telling of the Santa story, with an obvious dark twist. However, you should know its not really a scary movie per se; the film definitely sets a stage of dread, nervous anticipation and general creepiness, but it does not produce many outright scares. Rather than having santa jump out and kill someone, you see ominous snow tracks, or a pacing santa with a dangerously malicious look in his eyes (trying to avoid spoilers here). So understand you're not getting Friday the 13th.

I have to admit the concept is incredibly creative. The concept alone makes this a great film to watch. Further, if you can help your child discern between reality (insofar as you want him/her to believe) and make-up TV, this could be a family movie. There are a few gory scenes (e.g., a pig being butchered), so I'd think 10 y/o or so is probably a decent lower limit. Additionally, there is a certain family cozy-ness to it; the story is about a widowed father (on rough times) and his son; much of the story focuses on their relationship and the boy's experiences, so there definitely is a relatability that will appeal to a family watching this film.

Regarding the Blu Ray - the packaging is simply phenomenal. Whoever designed it did a brilliant job, and the packaging and interior design neatly mirrors the story. Additionally, the Blu Ray video quality is great, but not perfect; I'd rate it a 4/5 stars. To benchmark myself, I give Dead Snow a 5/5 for video quality.

Very highly recommended. Remember, if you watch this film for the creative concept and well executed story, and not expecting jump out of your seat scares, you'll be delighted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual Christmas tale, January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After seeing this on Netflix, we decided we wanted it as a part of our permanent Christmas collection. Fun, scary and yet still full of Christmas spirit. If you enjoy thinking outside the box, this film might be the ticket. Also, if you have an interest in Finland and Finnish culture, it's a winner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ready for a Complete Change of Pace?, January 19, 2014
This review is from: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (DVD)
Ready for a complete change of pace? Have I got one for you!

The full name of this Finnish tale (English captions) is "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale," and it's about Pietari, a little Lapp boy living with his widowed father in an isolated settlement up near the Russian border. His father depends on reindeer for their livelihood but their way of life is disrupted when, just across the border, a construction company sets up and begins dismantling a nearby mountain. This activity disrupts the local balance and their entire reindeer herd is soon found dead. This is a crucial event and spells disaster for father and son.

We watch as our little guy gossips with a chum about "the REAL Santa Claus, not the Coca Cola one we believe in. Our parents have lied to us!" He launches a major investigation about this mythical Santa and discovers that, according to Lapland lore, naughty children are stolen on Christmas Eve and never come back!

Now he's really concerned, particularly on Christmas Eve when his school chums start disappearing.... and he discovers that the construction across the border is really an architectural dig... and his father doesn't believe any of his theories... and he's supposed to go to bed early...

This R-rated 2010 fable is certainly a new approach to the Christmas legend! We don't know any of the actors, so we completely buy into this unearthly story. Just wait until you discover what's in those crates being exported!

Written and directed by Jalmari Helander, this little tale, by turn both spooky and funny, provides an interesting view of life on the edge. The award-winning cinematography by Mika Orasmaa brings breathtaking scenes of the great northern wilds. (I love it when JayFlix folks recommend films I would otherwise never hear about!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale by Jalmari Helander (DVD - 2011)
$29.99 $18.96
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.