It’s embarrassing how excited I was when this movie began and it was in English, and it’s even more embarrassing how disappointed I was when the rest of the movie turned out to, obviously, not be in English. Can’t a girl watch a horrifying and often disgusting, yet beautiful, movie about a sweet little boy dreaming up a plan to murder evil Santa Claus and then nearly sacrificing his own life to a pack of naked old men while she makes dinner? For once?! Even though I actually had to look at the movie while I watched it like some sort of ATTENTION FREAK, I really loved it! What a spooky treat! I do want to apologize to the members of the Holiday Movie Club who assumed that because we were no longer members of the Spooky Movie Club that we would be finished with spooky movies. It is, truthfully, your fault for not reading your club contract more carefully (page 69, section 420: “Spooky movies relating to the subject of the movie club are always possibilities if they are available on Netflix, or for some other reason.”), but it is also my fault in that I feel like I didn’t appropriately warn you that this one would be a bit spooky. Or about how many old penises would be in it. It’s because I didn’t know! Luckily there is nothing in the contract that requires me to do or forbids me from doing anything, because I am the boss. Anyway, it was great, let’s talk about it!

Few things can be as easily devastating as an adorable, sad, quiet little boy. Yesterday a friend told me that in kindergarten he didn’t have any friends, so while the other kids played with each other he and the teacher’s assistant would draw together. “It was okay,” he said, “I liked it.” WHAT?! MY HEART IS BROKEN DO NOT TELL ME SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND THEN DO NOT END IT EVEN SADDER. Sad, outwardly-strong older men are also impossibly devastating. So my heart was broken for just about the first three quarters of this movie! When Pietari, whose mother is dead, sat at the table, quietly eating the gingerbread that his mom used to make with his father, who made it, and asked, because he felt so guilting for cutting a hole in the reindeer-trapping fence and also was the only one who knew the truth about how nightmare Santa was going to steal children in the night, “Dad, what if I didn’t exist? What if I disappeared?” And his father said, on the verge of tears, not even looking at him, “You should disappear. To your bed. It’s late.” Then they say a quiet, sad goodnight, and then THE DAD CRIES?! AND THEN PIETARI LOOKS BACK AND SEES HIM CRYING AND SAYS “MERRY CHRISTMAS, DAD”?!? GIVE ME A BREAK! MY HEART!

NOOOOO!

But then the dad catches a human being by mistake, mistakenly thinks he’s dead, and almost dismantles him, like he would a reindeer? So. People are complicated. Maybe I missed something, but it seemed INSANE to me how quickly they went from panic that they had accidentally murdered someone with an illegal trap, to holding that person — whom they do not yet even know is an evil elf! — ransom and whipping him with a stick, or whatever. I get that they thought that they lost a million reindeer because of his company or whatever, but RELAX, you bunch of weirdos! Get him to a hospital! WHY DON’T PEOPLE IN MOVIES EVER GO TO THE HOSPITAL?!

Also, STOP EXCAVATING THINGS. Bill Maher New Rule: if you’re in a movie you have to go to the hospital when it’s necessary and you have to stop excavating things encased in ice and then letting the ice melt. Dumb-dumbs. Why did they even want to excavate Evil Santa in the first place? They knew it was him, right, because the old Bob Odenkirk-looking guy handed out those “Santa Rules”? So. What were they going to do with him? Sell him? To whom? THE DEVIL? Take over the world? With what? NUDE ELVES? Why was he so big? Why was he encased in ice if he could have just been murdered in the first place? WHY DIDN’T THAT LITTLE BOY HOLD ONTO THE CHILDREN-CARRYING ROPE WITH TWO HANDS?! (If your answer is “because he had a walkie-talkie in his other hand,” your answer is weak and I think he still could’ve held on better.) Lots of unanswered questions.

Even with the unanswered (for me) (maybe I just didn’t pay attention?) (THERE ARE NO RULES FOR ME) questions, though, this movie was great. It was so beautiful! The shot of all the dead reindeer ? The shot of every time the boy was on screen? The shot of all the old penises just kidding?! Loved it. The child saving the day and everyone just straight up listening to him and believing him for no reason at all, which is any child’s #1 dream? LOVED IT. The ending, where they taught all of the elves to be Santas and then shipped them out to places all over the world with “Rare Exports” stamped on the boxes? DIDN’T LIKE IT VERY MUCH because it kind of felt like an unnecessary punchline, but still GOOD MOVIE!

You should watch this one, if you didn’t. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t have, because we made a promise, but just in case.

NEXT WEDNESDAYWhite Christmas

Comments (25)
  1. I was very meh about this movie. Sorry, Kelly and Facetaco. I didn’t understand who this movie was for. Was it for kids? Why all the naked elves then? Was it for grown-ups, why all the fairy stuff/kid-like sense of disbelief? It just felt disjointed in some places. Like it could’ve used a few, several, many rewrites. The directing was great, though. Gotta give it up for the directing. C-

  2. Look, if you whole movie is based on the idea that Santa is evil, and then you don;t even show us evil Santa? Big bummer. It was pretty and the boy was very cute and the other boy with the mullet had a great boy mullet, but why not show us Santa?

  3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    I felt like this movie was too pleased with itself. It could’ve used some rewrites. I like the shorts the movie is based on* but the full-length movie seemed too arbitrary. IDK, I would’ve wanted more of the family pre-santa for a bigger payoff.

    * http://vimeo.com/16878465

  4. Well I definitely did not expect the lemon party!

    • Also not super into the fact that the movie ends with them literally selling a bunch of dudes into slavery! Especially because they kind of seemed like they were probably pedophiles?

  5. Lets cast the Rare Exports American remake:

    Dad: Craig T Nelson
    Kid: Dakota Fanning
    Older friend: the older kid from The Goldbergs.
    Elves: Abercrombie & Fitch models
    Santa: Andy Serkins
    Guy who conveniently knows how to fly a helicopter: Larry the cable guy
    Dad’s Friend: Mario Lopez
    Main Elf: Channing Tatum

  6. It got me in the mood for knitting, which was handy since I’m always in the mood for knitting. I like those Sammie sweaters a lot. I will never be that good but wow are those pretty sweaters. Also I bought $250 worth of yarn today. And half of my holiday presents are knitting related. It’s a fucking sickness.

  7. I kind of want to try to learn how to knit. But maybe I should try crocheting instead?

    • Same thing. Upvoted.

    • I LOVE it. Just realized I’ve now been knitting longer than I haven’t, which is kind of cool. Plus It allows me to fidget while sitting still while watching movies and TV or when I’m building websites for work and waiting for stuff to load on my very slow VPN.
      It’s very soothing and once you get used to it, you can basically do it in the dark with little to no thought process. It’s not always a cheap hobby, but I still have scarves and hats that are wearable from 1995 and I’ve been using the same sticks since then (if not adding to the collection). And you can unravel messed up sweaters and other wool entities to get free or new yarn as needed (or do this from the Salvation Army, etc.). Very handy for homemade presents and baby blanket projects and stuff like that.

      Plus it got me off the Candy Crush, which is feat upon itself.

  8. I cried a lot during this movie, i really liked it!

  9. To answer all of your concerns: this is a movie for children, but all Finnish movies have a certain amount of sadness and penises. It’s like a national law or something.

  10. I’m late to the party. Just watched this, and I give it an A+ for the same reasons Kelly had. That little boy! He owned this movie. He turned into Rambo in the Santa shed with the whole dynamite reveal. Perfect. Definitely an old style kid’s fairy tale complete with a dead parent and a smart adorable kid who saves the day and makes his sad dad happy. I give it seven thumbs up.

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