Sunday, August 19, 2012
Written, produced, shot and directed by Aleksander Nordaas - who also did the set decoration, editing and also something with sound, and probably tons of other stuff that there was no need to mention in the credits just to give the other crew some room. Thale is another groundbreaking, intelligent Norwegian horror movie that dares to go somewhere else, skipping the usual clichés and twists and gives us an adult, serious horror movie.
Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) and Elvis (Erlend Nervold) is two cleaners. Their speciality, or it's more the speciality of Leo, is to clean up bodies who's been laying around waaaay too long - hired by the police and hospitals of course. Today they're up in the wilderness, close to the mountains and endless forests. An old man has died and what's left is just bones. Elvis is a bit too curious and finds a trap door leading down to a secret basement - where they find a young naked woman. Slowly, bit by bit, they start to understand who...or what she is. Trapped in the cabin they soon realize that they're not alone. Someone is out there...
Thale has it fair share of low-key humour, but don't expect a laughing riot like Troll Hunter or Dead Snow. Nordaas has decided to do a serious quite slow horror movie about the Huldra and have created a unique twist on the legend. Most of the story is spent in one room, down in the basement, but the script is never boring and the length of 76 minutes is actually perfect. There's no room for being bored and the twists comes when they're needed.
The main three actors, and most of the time it's only them in front of the camera, makes the movie alive and kicking. Jon Sigve Skard and Erlend Nervold uses small means to make big drama and their chemistry is magic. Silje Reinåmo - who's nude a big part of the movie - is quiet all the time and uses her eyes and body to tell a very interesting story. This is probably the best performance of the movie and I'm not the only one deeply impressed by her work.
Thale is a cheap movie, it's shot digital and with simple set-design - but because it's a damn fine story and well-told it never makes the magic disappear. This is a great example of storytelling at its finest, and that there's not need for tons of money and fancy ancient retro-technology to tell a story and make a great movie. Imagine what these people could do with a slightly bigger budget? Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps!
This could so easily had been a Predator-rip off, or yet another backwoods-slasher/creature feature, but we had enough of them. Aleksander Nordaas did it his way and that's the best thing with this production. Thale a work of passion and originality and I would say it's pretty scary also!