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This will certainly take a place in my Christmas video playlist, honorary member of a very short list that currently features only “Scrooged” and “Die Hard”. We learn that Santa Claus is a nasty guy feeding off children’s bodies, that he was put away deservedly and buried in a mountain somewhere on the Northern rim of Finland, and that the scientists who carelessly played into the hands of ruthless businessmen to dig him up do not know what they are dealing with. His minions show up first, zombie-like killer creatures that feed off whatever reindeer or kid stands in their way. Pietari, the young boy of a reindeer breeding family, is the only one who has read the right books and understands what’s going on, and he will need to become a hero in the fight against the evil elves and their buried master. He does that with children’s wit and plenty of explosives, and it’s no spoiler I think to say that he manages to save Christmas eve from monstrous calamity – and even comes up with quite a clever business plan for dealing with the leftover elves.

The weirdness of the premise, the oddness of the location, the shrewdness of the characters make this a fun movie. Mixing the Christmas tale with cgi monster elements, and throwing in helicopter drama for good measure is a refreshing take on the sickeningly sweet Christmas supply we are usually fed. Every slightly intelligent kid should prefer this over what Disney and Barbie have to offer, and the grown-ups can join the fun. Maybe after finishing the film on Christmas eve, the whole family can sit down to slaughter some zombies on the X-Box.

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