Satanic Santa: Rare Exports movie review

All I want for Christmas is… a naked homicidal Santa Claus? You definitely wouldn’t want to sit on his knee.
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All I want for Christmas is… a naked homicidal Santa Claus? You definitely wouldn’t want to sit on his knee.

Ha! This is excellent. Finnish director, Jalmari Helander, has had the ingenious (and basically massively inappropriate) idea of making a Christmas film, set in Lapland, featuring reindeers and cute dewy-eyed children who fervently believe in the magic of Christmas… BUT that also features a terrifying homicidal Santa Claus who tortures and kills people!

In the depths of the Korvatunturi Mountains in Scandinavia lies a wooden box containing a terrible evil, kept secret from the world for thousands of years. One day a team of American geologists unwittingly dig it up and release… Father Christmas. This is not the Coca-Cola sponsored jolly fat man who comes down your chimney once a year to deliver that copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops you’d been angling for. But rather a dark malevolent spirit who delivers terrible (18-certificate) retribution against anyone who’s been naughty not nice.

How cool does that sound?! If I was an irresponsible primary school teacher, I would definitely be showing this film to my class of impressionable 8-year-olds – just to shit them up a bit… “Hey kids, remember last week when I told you Santa Claus was a just big lie your parents made up ‘cos they hate you? Guess what! Turns out he does exist after all, but he’s massive fucking monster who’s gonna come into your room on Christmas Eve to fuck you and eat you. Sleep tight!” I wonder what other child-friendly traditions it’s possible to subvert? I’d quite like to see an Easter Bunny with a Nazi past or a paedophile Mickey Mouse.

As much as I loved the idea of Rare Exports, it’s perhaps not quite big enough to sustain an entire feature film and; even with a running time of just 77 minutes; the movie does sag a little in the middle. Having said that, Helander does come storming back right at the end with a triumphantly mental finale. Just as you’re thinking the film can’t get any more weird, he unleashes a shower scene featuring an army of nude Father Christmases - completely Billy Bollocks - with their festive testicles on full display! Wow. Did not see that one coming. It’s going to take a LOT of mulled wine and eggnog to get that image out of my head…

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