Top critical review
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so so very close
on 1 December 2011
Rare Exports , does such a wonderful, effortless job of recapturing that slightly dangerous, pre-PC reckless streak that made such '80s-era kid flicks as E.T. and The Goonies , so distinctive and memorable, it almost makes up for the fact that the movie quite sadly omits the very component that should have been its crowning jewel. I can't be more specific about that omission without spoiling the film, but viewers will likely be left strangely unsatisfied when the screenplay fails to deliver the climax it has been priming us for the entire duration of Rare Exports
For those who can see past that structural flaw to recognize the creativity and craftsmanship on display, Rare Exports could have become a new Christmas classic. For everyone else, it's a failure made all the more frustrating by the fact that it comes so close to perfection.
Few filmmakers would have the gall to feature a gun-toting pre-adolescent with a quick trigger finger, and even fewer would pit that fearless child against a herd of rampaging, stark-naked senior citizens armed with melee weapons. The reason Rare Exports manages to work despite being hindered by its Achilles' heel is the fact that the director isn't afraid to push boundaries and break with convention in order to make his film stand apart.
Thanks to that affection for audacity, Rare Exports plays far creepier in parts than most might expect, despite the fact that it hardly contains anything most parents would consider more than mildly objectionable.
The writer understands that with just a little tweaking, the mythology surrounding Santa Claus can be twisted into something capable of sending shivers down the spines of impressionable youngsters, and by exploiting those elements he creates an aura of menace that gives the entire film a kind of nervous tension.
Rare Exports comes damn close to timeless perfection, and for that reason some folks will hold it to a higher standard than your typical killer Santa flick. But due to the disappointment of the climax it really does lose considerable marks with me.