Videogum

The Videogum Holiday Movie Club: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

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