Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ding Dong Scarily On High

I'm now officially bored of Autumn. Sludgy, decomposing leaves litter the ground, and everyone's grumbling about how dark, damp and cold it is.

Roll on winter, when suddenly people stop caring about the sub-zero temperatures (apart from old people who depend on their fuel allowance) because everything looks prettier. There's no more photogenic season than deep winter, when everything's covered in a blanket of snow, and colourful lights twinkle erratically in the the darkness.

Although I'm not sure the Scandinavians see it in quite such a romanticised way. But that's because they have to endure about five months of it. Once your house is buried up to the chimney-stack in a tsunami of snow, I guess you stop squinting whimsically at winter's majesty, and start thinking about how long your tyre chains will last.

Maybe that's why the current crop of 'seasonal movies' being lined up by our friends in the North are less 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer' and more 'Silent Night, Deadly Night'. Since their winters are harsh, brutal and unforgiving, films based around Tim Allen in a fatsuit seem somehow insufficient.

Finland's festive treat is a charming little film called 'Rare Exports', which shows what happens when a young boy called Pietari realises that Santa Claus is coming to town, and that his family had better be armed to the teeth. Because this is the Santa of old Finnish myths - an ancient demon that "abducts and tortures bad children".

The bearded man in a red hat doesn't look too disimilar from the Father Christmas we're more familiar with. But the sight of him leering at a young boy from inside a cage tells us that he's unlikely to settle for a mince pie and a schooner of sherry.

Over in Norway, another winter wonderland is being trampled by man-eating monsters, this time the trolls of Scandinavian fairy tales. For a generation of kids who think that trolls are Jedward-quiffed beasties used to having a pencil end jabbed up their fjords, the King Kong-sized behemoths in 'Troll Hunter' will come as quite a shock.

Looking like a curious mash-up of Cloverfield and The Legend of Boggy Creek, AndrĂ© Ovredal’s horror film tells the tale of a group of film students who attempt to capture footage of real-life trolls, when they discover that "their existence has been covered up for years by a government conspiracy."

The trailer is full of night-vision, hand-held camera work and lots of screaming, but also offers a tantalising glimpse of the eponymous beasties, and they pack quite a punch. In one scene, quite literally.

This may be bordering on sacrilege, but this Christmas, I think either one of these umlaut-heavy offerings might be even more fun than yet another screening of 'It's A Wonderful Life'. Who's with me?

1 comment:

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