sun 14/07/2024

DVD: Thale | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Thale

DVD: Thale

Despite its brooding lead, Norwegian folklore tale isn’t assured enough

Silje Reinåmo as Thale, the Huldra: keen on buns

If you go down to the woods today, it’s possible a Huldra might be encountered. A Norwegian wood, that is. She goes by other names across Scandinavia, but this be-tailed woman is to be avoided. Men lured into her lair are never seen again. Thale turns the legend on its head and tells the tale of Thale, a Huldra who’s been captured by a man and imprisoned in his basement.

The story of the Siren-like Huldra is one that’s ripe for a film treatment, especially after Norway’s Troll Hunter became an international hit. Unfortunately, Thale is somewhat undercooked.

Thale DVDThale’s just-over-70 minutes opens with a pair of crime-scene cleaners, Leo and Elvis. The latter’s name telegraphs that they’re a gently wacky pair, and their time on screen is filled with banter. The empty, blood-soaked country house they’re supposed to be cleaning also has a basement, which attracts their attention. They find intriguing cassette tapes (shades of Troll Hunter’s post-Blair Witch found footage) and what seems to be a laboratory. There, they also discover Thale who was snatched from the woods years earlier and has grown up a prisoner. She’s initially intent on killing the duo, but is calmed by being given a lot of buns. Some mysterious, gun-happy men are soon after her but are despatched, freeing Thale to re-join her shadowy kinfolk.

More fairy tale than horror film, Thale isn’t sure whether it wants to be dark or play for comic effect. It could be both, but it isn’t sure-footed enough. Based on this, director Aleksander Nordaas does not seem a potential Sam Raimi. As Thale, former dancer Silje Reinåmo is under-developed: a pity, as her brooding presence balances innocence and menace nicely. Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) and Elvis (Erlend Nervold) are little more than cardboard cut-outs. Beyond Reinåmo, the film’s other strength is the soundtrack music’s haunting wordless vocals. Thale is enjoyable, but it would have been good to say it was more than that.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the trailer for Thale

The story of the Siren-like Huldra is one that’s ripe for a film treatment. Unfortunately, 'Thale' is somewhat undercooked


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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