Thale (Film, 2013)
Published in SFX #234.
2012 15 76 mins
Director: Aleksander L Nordaas
Writer: Aleksander L Nordaas
Starring: Silje Reinåmo, Erlend Nervold, and Jon Sigve Skard
Confused but atmospheric Scandi folk horror.
A pair of Norwegian crime scene cleaners are called into gather up a body scattered by wild animals, and stumble upon a supernatural beauty hidden in the cellar.
Quietly haunting, Thale has some charms, but what it gains through atmospheric shots of the forest and sharp character moments it loses in coherency. The Thale of the title is a Huldra – a forest spirit – found by scientists as a baby. Much of the fragmented narrative explores how she ended up in the cellar via flashback and convenient cassette tape diaries. The arrival of corporate goons with guns tries to up the tension, but fails. Thale’s butchery of the scientists on her tail is poorly choreographed, and the b-plot is as weakly executed. Engaging, but the legend of the Huldrafolk is not sufficiently exploited to make Thale intriguing.
Did you know?
The Huldrafolk’s nature is revealed by their tails and, sometimes, hollow backs. Many are beautiful women who enjoy congress with mortal men.