×
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

  • Swiss Film Award Winners Led By

    ‘Those Who Work,’ ‘Chris the Swiss’ Top 2019 Swiss Film Awards

    Two debut features in writer-director Antoine Russbach’s “Those Who Work” and Anja Kofmel’s animated documentary “Chris the Swiss,” were the big winners at Friday night’s Swiss Film Awards, notching three plaudits each. Sold by Be For Films, “Those Who Work,” stars Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet, who has appeared in every single film by Jean-Pierre and [...]

  • Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson doppelgänger

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' to Easily Surpass 'Get Out' in Killer Opening Weekend

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” will likely slay the box office competition this weekend. It’s projected to generate an impressive $64 million through the weekend at 3,741 sites in North America, early estimates showed Friday. It’s over-performing recent forecasts, which had ranged from $38 million to $50 million. It should wind up with about $27 million [...]

  • France's Investment in Movies Plummeted in

    France's Film Production Levels Remained High in 2018, But Local Investment Plummeted

    While the volume of production in France remained high with 300 films made in 2018, investment in local films dropped by 15.2% to €1.12 billion ($1.26 billion), hit by the sharp decline in financing from traditional distribution deals and TV channels. Among the 300 films produced last year, 237 were French-majority films and 63 French-minority [...]

  • Unicorn Store Trailer

    Watch the First Trailer for Brie Larson's Directorial Debut, 'Unicorn Store'

    Brie Larson is seeking salvation from Samuel L. Jackson in Neflix’s first trailer for her directorial debut, the offbeat comedy-drama “Unicorn Store.” Larson is portraying a lonely 20-something dreamer who’s been kicked out of art school. She’s forced to move back home with her parents and take a temp job at a PR agency. But [...]

  • Patti Rockenwagner

    Chief Brand Officer Patti Röckenwagner Leaves STX Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patti Röckenwagner is leaving STX Entertainment where she has served as the company’s chief brand officer. She announced her departure in a memo to staff, in which she said she was departing for “another opportunity.” The exit is an amicable one. Röckenwagner joined STX in 2016 as its chief communications officer before being promoted to [...]

  • Gabrielle Union

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit

    Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit, which brought top execs to Hollywood’s NeueHouse on Thursday, covered considerable ground. From cutting through the noise in an oversaturated media landscape to welcoming exciting technology like virtual reality, industry veterans offered insight into what to expect from the marketing world in coming years. Here are 10 things we learned [...]

  • Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces On

    Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces on Flurry of High-Profile Series

    Following “The Name of the Rose”(pictured) and “Devils,” France’s Orange has unveiled four internationally-driven series projects as part of its commitment to step into premium original shows with its film/TV division Orange Studio and pay TV group OCS both of board. Currently in development, the social western “Cheyenne & Lola,” the dance-filled workplace drama “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content