Film Review: Thale (Norway, 2012)

thale

When you learn that the budget for this feature was a measly $10K, you realise what they have pulled off with feature-length film, Thale, released initially in Norway in 2012 and recently broadcast on World Movies (Foxtel). Thale is a Norwegian fantasy/horror film that brings a unique air to the hybrid genre. The film takes a creature from Scandinavian folklore, the Huldra, and draws us in with her enigma.

Thale (played by Silje Reinåmo) is a seemingly innocent Huldra, a ‘troll-like woman’ with beautiful long yellow hair, creamy tan skin and a seductive cow tail, which has been surgically removed. Crime scene cleaning men, Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) discover her in a basement, submerged in a milky white bath with a tube in her throat. And so begins the journey of (self)-discovery as Elvis and Leo endeavour to find out exactly how Thale ended up where she did.

Aleksander L. Nordaas serves as the writer, director, co-producer, cinematographer and editor of Thale and it comes across as a labour of love. The character narratives are well developed and the special effects used in bringing the Huldra to life (Thale’s eccentricities and the other, more CGI versions) are very impressive.

The story of Thale is sown together with a cassette tape which the cleaners play while piecing together the events that had led up to their encounter. Elvis and Leo come to the realisation that Thale has been surgically altered to appear more human and looks distinctly different to her Huldra family that lurk outside, appearing dangerous and desperate to reunite with their lost companion.

A distinctive modern interpretation of Scandinavian folklore, Thale is thought-provoking and melancholic, yet plays as an optimistic look at the meaning of family, life and the stories we tell.

Review Score: THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Thale had its Australian Television Premiere on Foxtel’s World Movies Channel on 24th March at 8:30pm. Look out for additional screenings of the film, and many more great ones like it. For the schedule and more details, head to http://www.worldmovies.com.au/