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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so so very close, 1 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Dec 2011 16:32:39 GMT
grrarghh says:
"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."

Well, that sentence just made me splutter coffee all over myself! In a good way! :)

Good, thoughtful review though. Yes, there could have been a more high-octane denouement involving the 'omission' you mention. However, I have a feeling that would have pushed the tiny budget to breaking point and I'd rather have the omission than a badly put together inclusion. As you say, there's much to love about the film: wonderful performances; stunning cinematography (everything really pops on Bluray); witty script and just enough creepiness to keep up the suspense. It's definitely going to become a Christmas staple for me! :)

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2011 18:54:19 GMT
That's an excellent point... I never took the budget constraints into consideration. I do very much concede that I would rather have watched this version of the film than a cheap special effects extravaganza at the end; it surely would have ruined it.
I do feel I have been a bit too harsh on my rating of 3 out of 5 and if I could give it 3.75 I would but I just don't think it quite stretches to a 4. I feel the let down at the end just takes too much from the film, and, quite frankly I think the studio should have seen this film and its potential and allocated the extra monies to it. Then when this films vision is truly realised would this become a Christmas staple in my household.
As for your coffee, I can only apologise and assure you that my writing has rarely provoked such a response. Even though your jumper is now probably stained with your caffeinated beverage I don't really feel bad nor can I help but smile as this comment has been the best compliment any of my reviews have ever received, so for that I thank you. Merry Christmas.

Posted on 12 Mar 2016 17:48:06 GMT
Agree that the ultimate finale is a bit of a let down. It's still a great film otherwise.
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Location: staffordshire, england

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