Snark Patrol goes to the Movies
Yet there I was, watching a Finnish movie about Santa Claus.
Rare Exports is a wonderful, darkly funny movie about the *real* Santa Claus. You should be so lucky to only get coal in your stocking if you are naughty--this Santa boils children. And his "little helpers" look like dirty old men. That's a literal description, they are old geezers wearing nothing more than a generous amount of dirt. (So yeah, there were some naked people cavorting around but it was more scary than titillating. Naked old guys in the snow carrying pickaxes will do that.)
The story features a young Finn who sneaks up to the top of a mountain where mysterious mining operations are taking place. Once he realizes the plan is *really* to dig up a Primordial Santa Claus, frozen in ice, he tries to alert his father and anyone who will listen to the danger. He is properly ignored -- and then the yearly reindeer roundup fails when the entire herd is found slaughtered, and it all goes downhill from there.
One thing I found especially interesting is the apparent prevalence of guns in this setting. It's a dangerous place with hungry wolves about, and any children old enough to be outside on their own are simply expected to have a rifle or shotgun to protect themselves. Our young hero carries his shotgun along with his stuffed animal. Pretentious Europeans like to whine about how Americans are gun crazy, but they are completely ignoring the entirety of Finland which is, you know, right there next to them.
Not to worry, there is a happy ending (with explosions) and the newly unemployed elves are retrained and repurposed. And there are ginger cookies for everyone.
Movie locations in the US.
(N.B. No children are boiled or even harmed during the film, unless you count being stuffed in a potato sack.)
(N.B.2 To avoid enraging Primordial Santas, please review the Safety Regulations and observe them at all times.)