I loved the original short movies. I got very excited when the trailer came out. I even braved the Christmas shoppers on a lunchtime hike from Waterloo to Carnaby Street to see their attempt at viral marketing. I’m happy to say that the movie itself didn’t disappoint.
On paper, it sounds like a complete farce. A Finnish comedy-horror about miners unearthing the real Father Christmas, who isn’t as jolly as the Coca-Cola corporation would have us believe. Instead of sneaking into people’s homes and exchange presents for gingerbread, Santa delivers spanked bottoms and boiled children. It’s then up to a bunch of reindeer herders and the only nice (if rather odd-looking) child to save the day and rescue the naughty kids.
It might just be the foreign language making it feel less of a spoof, but the movie itself has turned out to be one of the best Christmas films in years. A great mixture of creeping suspense, some genuinely scary moments, and a great heart that Disney hasn’t had since the Fifties.
I’d be interested to hear what a Finnish person thought of it; the audience at the Cambridge Picturehouse seemed to be in tears of laughter at random scenes, so much so that I was seconds away from standing up and brandishing my laminated copy of Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct. Either they were high or Finnish, in which case I’m missing out on some subtleties of their culture.
Don’t let the threat of sniggering Scandewigians put you off, however. Go and see this movie before Santa puts you on the naughty list.
You definitely don’t want to be on the naughty list.