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Ten Word or Less Review – Evil Santa movie doesn’t live up to hype.

What a damn disappointment.  Rare Exports has one of the greatest setups ever.  Your basic ‘scientists dig up something horrible out of the ice’ routine except it isn’t a demon or monster or acid crapping alien.  IT’S A FUCKING MURDEROUS SANTA CLAUS!  This Finnish flick introduces a mythology of Santa, not as a Coke swilling, rosy cheeked, happy bastard bringing rocking horses and baby dolls to good little boys and girls, but a sadistic tormentor of kids who boils and flays the little ones who don’t do right by Mommy and Daddy.  Sadly, a great concept is all it is.

The movie has this great hook to work with, as well as  a nice look about it and some credible performances, but it stubbornly refuses to go anywhere exciting or devious.  At a scant 80+ minutes the venture feels like nothing more than a prolonged first act which hums in a neutral space from which it has no desire to shift from.  A few creepy moments come to pass but the movie never hits the accelerator.  After a while the appreciative simmer of tension that’s established slowly downshifts into outright boredom.  In an incredible let down Santa Claus Monster never really appears.  Who we think is our evil Santa, a naked, gnarly looking Finnish man with a ratty beard, is actually one of his many elves.  Exports sets what must be a dubious record for the most elderly, naked Finnish men put to film.  Santa, some kind of unseen, horned behemoth, stays locked away on ice for the duration, never to be seen or do anything.  It’s a colossal blunder of storytelling.  Rare Exports builds and builds and then slowly but surely disappoints until its idiotic climax officially ruins the entire endeavour.  The last embers of hope that something astonishing might transpire fade away in a fury of dumbness.

I would remake this movie in a heartbeat, use it’s first 30 minutes and then abandon the rest in favor of the kind of movie the idea is deserving of.  One where evil Santa actually shows up, actually does in the naughty and the nice alike and actually makes it a hellish Christmas for everyone involved.  This film though has no such ambition.  Merry frickin’ Christmas.


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