Movie Review: Thale (2012, Dir. Aleksander Nordaas)

Thale 2012

Thale is a supernatural Norwegian low-budget thriller from director, writer, cinematographer, and editor Aleksander Nordaas. Thale is a small film, with a story borrowing from Norwegian folklore. It’s obviously made on a very tight budget, but Nordaas has done well with it. The story follows Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), two guys working as crime scene cleaners, disposing of leftovers from violent and messy deaths. Arriving at a crime scene, they discover a seemingly abandoned house, and upon investigating, they awaken a strange nude woman named Thale (Silje Reinåmo) incubating in some sort of device. She is aggressive and silent, and they must piece together who and what she is through clues found in the house and the events that follow.

Despite looking a little cheap here and there, the filmmaker has managed to craft a simple and creepy film from limited resources. At a sweet 76 minutes, it’s short. There’s not too many characters, and those characters are restrained to only a few locations, mostly in the woods. Although the two male leads are a tad awkward, they are still likeable. Their interactions feel genuine, and despite a few odd moments of serious drama that seem out of place and weird, I kind of liked them.

The strongest point of the film is Leo and Elvis’s interactions with Thale, and honestly, Thale herself. Not only is Silje Reinåmo adorable, she’s exciting and emotive. And who doesn’t love a cute girl with a tail? (It’s really a tail, not a penis.)

Thale 2012

There are certain aspects of this film that I would normally dislike, mostly in the communication of the story through flashbacks and recordings uncovered by the two leads. Thale presents these with such sincerity that it’s hard to fault the film for the mere use of techniques I’m not fond of. In fact, considering how small the film is, I’m not sure there’s any other way they could have communicated that information.

So, although being a tad slow and a little underdeveloped, it’s easy to connect with, and despite being a somewhat simple plot, it’s successfully suspenseful and it does leave a lot open to the viewer’s interpretation. Tying in aspects of mythology is a fun way to get one’s imagination running and throw in a bit of commentary on nature versus technology to make the movie a little more substantial.  I do think it could have gone a little further on that theme, as Thale just puts it forward without really delving too deeply. But, hey, I was entertained. Even by the CGI forest creatures, animated at the caliber of a made-for-TV movie. I giggled.

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