You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thale

A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, "Thale" does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it's too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing.

With:
With: Silje Reinamo, Erlend Nervold, Jon Sigve Skard. (Norwegian, Swedish dialogue)

A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic simply takes on too much mythological baggage to achieve maximum thriller thrust, although Silje Reinamo is eminently watchable as the titular lethal Scandi wood nymph, and brings eloquence to a wordless role. Genre fans may find the whole thing too poetic.

Thale” starts out purely comedic: Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), a crime-scene cleanup man, is short on staff, so he’s brought along newbie Elvis (Erlend Nervold), who spends most of the time vomiting. Nordaas doesn’t show a lot of what’s turning Elvis’ stomach, and doesn’t really need to; the point is made: Pieces of evidence, and their implications, are often more horrifying than the crime itself.

There’s a cabin-full of evidence at their next assignment, a remote house in the woods, around which a corpse has been strewn, presumably by animals who’ve found the dead man and distributed his remains. Inside the dwelling, the pair find a decades-old underground lair with weird tape recordings, surgical equipment, a freezer containing a severed tail and a milky looking bathtub containing a mute girl. She turns out to be Thale, a legendary huldra, or wood creature that possesses immense strength and speed. No one can stop her, not even the white-coated assassins who arrive halfway through Leo and Elvis’ increasingly problematic workday.

The secret government conspiracy that’s tossed into the mix of Norwegian forest legend, and the occasional slathering of gore, make for an overload of information, much of it delivered via flashbacks to Thale’s worrisome childhood, or those tape recordings made by the unseen man who rescued her and kept her captive all those years.

Production values are topnotch: The lensing, together with the production design by the very busy Nordaas (who also wrote and edited), help maintain the creepy feel that clings to “Thale” like the sweat that seems to be forever pouring off Elvis’ forehead.

Thale

Norway

Production: A Yesbox presentation in association with Euforia Film and Filmfoundet Fuzz. Produced by Bendik Heggen Stronstad. Executive producers, Lars Andreas Hellebust, Gudrun Giddings, Tore Fredrik Dreyer. Co-producer, Lars L. Maroy. Directed, written, edited by Aleksander L. Nordaas.

Crew: Camera (color), Nordaas; music, Raymond Enoksen, Geirmund Simonsen; production designer/costume designer, Nordaas; sound, Bendik Heggen Stronstad, Simen Nyland, Nordaas, Kasper Val; sound designers, Thomas Angell Endresen, Stig Holte, Val; special effects, Christian Schanning, Holte, Val; visual effects supervisor, Morten Jacobsen; visual effects producer, Kristin Hellebust; visual effects, Storm Studios; associate producers, Camilla Fredrikke Jaeger, Nordaas. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Vanguard), Sept. 6, 2012. Running time: 77 MIN.

With: With: Silje Reinamo, Erlend Nervold, Jon Sigve Skard. (Norwegian, Swedish dialogue)

More Film

  • 'Mute' Review: The Sound Isn't the

    Film Review: 'Mute'

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

  • Berlin Facetime: Delphine Perrier, Highland Film

    Berlin Facetime: Delphine Perrier, Highland Film Group

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

  • AUGGIE (Jacob Tremblay) and JACK WILL

    Lionsgate's 'Wonder' Tops DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales and Rental Charts

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

  • Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies

    Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies at 82

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

  • Meryl Streep Harvey Weinstein Jennifer Lawrence

    Harvey Weinstein Apologizes for Citing Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence in Legal Defense

    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, “Thale” does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing — which is ironic, given helmer Aleksander L. Nordaas’ able hand, early on, with unspoken, unseen horrors. The pic […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content