Some secretive excavating is taking place on top of a mountain, and the locals below are facing financial ruin when the reindeer they hunt have nearly all been mysteriously killed. A bit of spying, and a lot of reading, leads young Pietari to conclude that the mountain holds the 'real' Santa Claus underground - an evil and cruel entity who the people on the mountain seem to be trying to find. And then, Pietari and his father discover a naked, bearded, scary old man, who has fallen into their wolf pit...
Rare Exports is a great alternative to the usual sugary Christmas movies. The story is quite dark, and very creepy at times, but with a streak of humour running through it. The performances are all excellent, in particular the actors playing Pietari and his father. The characters are well-written and believable, and you really do care what happens to them all.
The cinematography is wonderful. Some of the scenes are so beautiful to look at, and the scenery is simply stunning. The orchestral score complements it well, and gives the film an impressive, big-budget feel. Events do get a bit far-fetched towards the end, but it's not enough to prevent this being an excellent fantasy horror and a lot of fun to watch. This is probably my second-favourite Christmas movie (after Muppet Christmas Carol, of course) and I'm really surprised it's not more well-known. If you can get hold of a copy, I would recommend it highly. 4.5/5