DVD Review: Thale
Thale, a Norwegian horror, kicks off with a little bit of humour, something that is interspersed throughout the films humble run-time. We meet Leo, a crime-scene cleaner working with his mate, Elvis, who has stepped in for his usual co-worker. The trouble is, Elvis wasn’t prepared for what the work entails, and whilst Leo is busy scrubbing the remains of someone off the floor, Elvis is bringing up his breakfast in a bucket.
Not being prepared is certainly what the tow friend as when they roll up to their next job. The remains of a man has been found scattered in the woods around a remote cabin. Yes, a cabin in the woods, it is a horror after all – and the boys are sent in to search the cabin to see if they can find the rest f the man. In doing so, they uncover a series of secret rooms hidden under the woodshed. Instead of phoning it in and waiting for help to arrive, the guys decide to investigate for themselves.
What the guys eventually find in the Saw inspired basement, is a “huldra,” a mythical woodland creature from Norwegian folklore, only this one has been humanised by the rearing from childhood by a rogue government scientist.
Of course, to begin with the guys think they’ve just found a naked, 20 something feral woman.
The film tales the story through tape recordings and flashbacks, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on where the story is going, Aleksander Nordaas throws a curve ball.
Thale is promoted as a horror, but I would place it as more of a twisted, original, freak your arse out, thriller, with ample blood and guts. The combination of creepy underground lab and sleeping quarters, along with the narrated audio tape journals and freaky mind melding flash backs and the naked feral girls actions make for a mesmerising thrill ride that has you one part glued to the screen and one part gripping onto the edge of your couch for dear life.
It’s sheer brilliance and proof that even a small indie film can outsmart the best Hollywood has to offer, if it’s made in Norway.
Rating: M Violence and horror scenes.