From a certain angle, "Rare Exports" might sound like a typical heartwarming yuletide yarn: It's 24 days till Christmas, and a precocious young boy is determined to prove that Santa exists, while his hard-working widowed father suffers a major business setback. But the nog is spiked with twisted black humor in this frosty Finnish fantasy.
The hero is a take-charge kid (Onni Tommila) who lives in northern Finland with his reindeer-hunter father (played by his real-life dad, Jorma Tommila). Just as hundreds of deer meet an unexpected fate that puts the father on the brink of bankruptcy, the boy discovers that a scientific dig across the Russian border has unearthed Father Christmas. His subsequent research — in beautifully illustrated books of Scandinavian myths — shows him that the old codger was a child-hating monster.