A couple years ago a friend sent me a funny youtube video. It was a really elaborate short film that is so we crafted I don’t wanna give away the whole thing. Anyway years later the same filmmaker managed to make a full leangth feature film based on the idea of that short film.
It’s tough to talk about this film without a certain amount of spoilers. so i’ll keep it light. The film centers around the legend of Santa Clause as seen through the traditions and culture of northern scandanavia. If you tilt your head just right you have the makings of a good horror movie. The director shoots his film as big as any Hollywood blockbuster giving the reletively simple and contained story a more epic large scale feel.
The acting is good each character conveys what needs to be shown to have us, the audience, give a crap.
The thing however that will either make or break this movie for most viewers is whether they feel like reading subtitles. The film is a finnish movie with only handful of dialogue spoken in english. Luckily though the film is very visual and allot of information is adequately portrayed. I can only assume that watching it without subtitles you would still get the gist of it but be confused in certain areas. At any rate, this fact shouldn’t scare you. just check it out and afterward you can tell everyone you watched an awesome finnish movie!
This film is truely unique. Being exposed to this as an american should really put you in both familiar and unfamiliar territory at the same time. By barrowing america’s cinematic language it’s easily accessable yet the story takes place far away, way up north and Santa looks pissed!
But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Santa slasher movie, which I guess is sub genre now. This is a far cry from films like Silent Night, Deadly Night and Santa’s Slay (the last one being a throw away joke title for a fake movie in Ernest Saves Christmas that Hollywood just had to turn into a real film starring some wrestler as an Evil Santa, I think. Does that qualify as Meta?) No, this film feels more like a kids movie with balls. The main character is a child who believes in Santa but after studying old books about his peoples folklore surrounding the character he fears being considered naughty by him and the cruel and perhaps lethal punishment he would face. He becomes over cautious and rightfully paranoid. Naturally, as in most kids movies, no one believes him until the all hell breaks loose. It’s not a gorey film at all but it doesn’t shy away from blood or the sight of dozens of mutilated animal corpses. Heck if you look hard enough you’s find full frontal male nudity! Sounds like Christmas at Michael Jackson’s house. BOOOOOOO! Hiiiissss! What too soon? Seriously though imagine watching a kids movie that flat out becomes a bad ass action movie! Well sorta. With a bigger budget allot more could have been done in the final act to amp up the action and thrills but as is the film is still great with some fun moments telling the audience that it is self aware.
I say if you don’t feel like watching It’s A Wonderful Life again and want to see something really different, yet entertaining. Give this one a try! Wanna wet your appetite just search for Rare Exports 2003 and 2005 on youtube and checkout the two short films that inspired the feature!