are not your typical mythological woodland creatures. These tailed women from Scandinavian myth are
very blonde and can be a lot of trouble.
Two forensic cleaners might have one on their hands in Aleksander
Nordaas’s Thale (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
is not really cut out for his friend’s Leo’s industrial strength cleaning service. Their primary gigs are grisly crime
scenes. They do not seem to bother Leo
much, but they keep Elvis close to a bucket.
Their latest assignment has them scouring about for the pieces of an
elderly recluse, killed under mysterious circumstances. As they proceed, they stumble upon a secret
cellar with a naked woman hidden in the bath tub.
seems the old geezer had kept her prisoner down there since she was a young
girl. While the deceased evidently
performed various experiments on her, the cassettes he left behind seem to
suggest he was also protecting her from outside parties. As if on cue, we start to see strange shadowy
figures darting through the woods. The
feral Thale, as the old man called her, also bears watching. Good luck dudes.
billed as a horror film, Thale is
long on set-up and short on gore. This
is not necessarily a bad thing. There is
a bit of character development in their disparate reactions to splattered blood
and entrails that pays off later in the film.
Nonetheless, there is not so much to satisfy hardcore genre fans. Instead, Thale
plays like a dark Nordic version of Splash.
deliberately emphasizes Thale’s animal-like vulnerability. Silje Reinåmo taps into that raw primal
innocence. It is a rather brave
performance, especially considering she is naked for nearly the entire
film. It is hardly erotic, but Seth MacFarlane
will clearly be able to see her breasts.
Erlend Nervold and Jon Sigve Skard are also relatively engaging as the
everyman carnage cleaners. They have
bits that stay with viewers well after the initial screening, which says
something for the genre. Unfortunately,
the third act’s perfunctory lack of ambition is disappointing.
Considering the dearth of huldra movies
previously available, Thale undeniably
fills a void. In terms of tone and
subject matter, it has the virtue of being something different. Despite the simplicity of its narrative, cult
film enthusiasts should consider it when it opens this Friday (4/5) in New York
at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Horror Movies, Huldra, Scandinavian Cinema