Director: Aleksander Nordaas
Starring: Erlend Nervold, Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Morten Andresen
In a cellar, dark and deep, I lay my dearest down to sleep; A secret they would like to keep.
Leo and Elvis are childhood friends who are now employees of No Shit Cleaning Service, which provide the service of cleaning up crime scenes. The two dimwits are currently cleaning out a cabin out in the woods where they find a hidden entrance to a basement laboratory.
In the laboratory they find a lot of notes and audio recordings by someone who they assume is a scientist of sorts. They also see a tub filled with milky white liquid and suddenly a naked young woman emerges out of the liquid. While they wait for help, they try to figure out exactly what she is and where she came from.
Thale is a low-budget production which first got its release after the huge success of The Trollhunter. It is very fun to see moviemakers take advantage of old norwegian folklores and there sure is a lot unused stuff to film from our history that could work in films. I hope we’ll see a full length feature concerning “Nøkken” which has a huge potential of keeping people away from water in a way that hasn’t been experienced since Jaws came out.
The woman in this film is a so-called “Hulder”, a supernatural female being which has been portrayed in a lot of different ways throughout our history since it’s origins is from folk tales which then got spread from village to village. The story of the huldra goes back to Adam and Eve. One day God came to see Eve’s children and she only displayed the ones that were washed and cleaned. When God asked if these where everyone she had, she replied “yes” and God replied that so it will be, and everyone else that are hidden will stay hidden for all future. This is also details that have changed depending on which part of the country you lived in back in the old days. You can compare the huldra to a mixture of fairy and elf if you will.
Anyways, the film’s budget does hinder the filmmakers in shooting nearly any outdoor scenes and most take place within the cabin. The budget also makes them do some very bad CGI effects in the movie and we are taking effects on the same level as Syfy movies here. The few outdoor shots are nicely done and does a good job of showing off what beautiful nature we do have in this country and that’s something that a few low-budget movies have failed to do in the past, which is just a display of poor craftmanship on their part.
The movie focuses on the character development and a lot of time is spent on Thale and Elvis getting to know each other by communicating telepathically. We learn the backstory of Thale during this and also get to know Elvis quite a bit aswell. It’s however not done very well and I wish they had some more mystery or even a few scares during the film instead since it doesn’t engage the viewer or entertain them very much. Even at only 77 minutes, it does feel like a feature that is stretching it’s content out too much and it does feel like a long watch. In other words, if you are looking for a popcorn movie with lots of fun and action like The Trollhunter, then this is not for you.
The acting is alright, above average for this type of budget movie. Erlend Nervold does a good job as Elvis, while Silje Reinåmo is beautiful and mystic as Thale. The rest of this very little cast does their job well. The direction by Aleksander Nordaas does show some promise but also shows his inexperience. Hopefully this film will get him a project where he has more freedom from budget restrains.
Thale is an interesting film that explores a norwegian mythology that I don’t believe is touched upon in any previous movies. It does fall flat on the entertainment, but the creature is interesting enough to make this into a decent movie.