Thale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Thale Reviews

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July 17, 2016
Certainly unique, but maybe to unique? I know that seems weird, but it's hard to find investment in it at points. Also can I say, it's weird when your monster/creature movie isn't the main bad guy, or even have much of a conflict. Art house is one thing, but you still need a clear threat or conflict.
½ December 21, 2015
An interesting fantasy, borderline horror movie about a cabin in the woods that needs some crime cleaning and leads to an interesting discovery. The three main actors are quite good together, and the occasional shot of Norwegian lakes and forests adds to the mystery.
½ September 16, 2015
It is safe to assume that Elvis and Leo do a job that few people could stomach. They clean up crime scenes. After the bodies have been removed, they clean up the pools of blood and bits of human remains that litter the scene. It's not a pleasant job but somebody's got to do it. Decked out in masks and bright yellow hazmat suits, they go about their business, picking up the pieces of someone else's inhumanity against his fellow man.

From the first moment, it becomes clear that Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) is easily equipped to handle this. Elvis (Erlend Nervold), who vomits profusely into a nearby bucket, seems less so. From this unappetizing scene, we get the feeling that Thale will be a movie about what these guys do for a living. Indeed, following their day to day routine might have been fascinating, but admittedly hard to stomach. Yet, we soon find that we're wrong. Thale is an odd, mysterious and somewhat beguiling supernatural thriller from Norway that is built on mood and atmosphere and suspense made up of things that we learn along the way. It is a relief to find a movie this quiet and moody when so many thrillers fall back on the standard of jack-in-the-box terror.

In a series of creepy images banded with effectively melancholy music, the next scene reveals quick-cut elements that we only understand later. Leo and Elvis find that their next job is to clean up a crime scene that reminds us, uncomfortably, of Buffalo Bill's lair in The Silence of the Lambs. Waiting for a professional team to show up, Elvis begins to poke around. Something in the way this house is laid out seems to be more than meets the eye. Leo urges him not to go snooping around, but Elvis' natural curiosity gets the better of him. A small cold filthy room reveals jars of liquids, strings of dim lights and a bathtub filled with milky water invites investigation, though a more cautious individual might have not have proceeded any further.

From this point, I may discuss certain plot points. So if you want to see the movie cold, you may want to stop here.

What he discovers isn't all that unusual. Beneath the milky water is a naked girl who seems to have been there for some time. She is alive, but terrified. She doesn't speak, but an old tape recorder reveals that her name is Thale (Silje Reinåmo). What Elvis comes to understand is that she is more than a victim. This room is more than a torture chamber, and her reasons for being in this location reveal that she is possibly not suppose to exist. Neither, by the way, is whatever is skulking around outside.

It would be cruel to reveal what happens next, but safe to say it isn't what we expect. This isn't one of those movie with screaming victims and cheapo shocks. It is the kind of movie where the thrills come from what the characters discover for themselves. Elvis and Leo have stumbled upon something that is possibly bigger than both of them. Holed up in that room with Thale, something else manifests itself, something else that isn't suppose to exist.

What is even more interesting is what we learn about Elvis and Leo along the way. In just a few tiny passages of dialogue, Elvis and Leo become full-blooded people, not just pawns to be chased around by a boogeyman. It is curious to see a supernatural thriller like this that takes a few seconds to give its characters a bit of dimension. They aren't fully-realizes souls but they have lives that we can imagine exist apart from their predicament.

Having recently sat through the halfwit (not to mention boring) nonsense of Fede Alvarez's remake of Evil Dead, this movie comes as a breath of fresh air. While it isn't a perfect film, Thale exudes a measure of tension and grounds its story in reality before revealing the supernatural forces that are present. This is the kind of movie that builds slowly, giving us time to discover things. It has the patience to reveal the story as it unfolds rather than explain everything all at once and then march us to an inevitable conclusion. It may not be to every taste. It moves slowly and has long passages where we wait for something to happen, but given the sad state of most other films in this genre, we welcome the chance to discover things for ourselves.
August 4, 2015
A good concept that's just too weird.
½ June 7, 2015
I wanted more from this film
June 1, 2015
This was definitely a weird little movie. The cast of characters fits in one hand and most of the movie is shot in this one bunker location. I couldn't get any sort of captioning on this movie, which I believe is Norwegian. It would have nice to know what the two guys were talking about near the end of the movie.
April 12, 2015
I'm surprised this doesn't have better reviews. It's a really interesting little movie. My only real complaint is that I wish it had been a little bit longer and fleshed out a little more.
January 24, 2015
Looks like the director forgot what he was trying to accomplish toward the end of the movie. Left me lost at the end.
½ January 11, 2015
There's enough mystery to pique your interest, but very little development to sustain it.
November 2, 2014
This was an interesting idea, but falls short of entertaining.
October 14, 2014
Creepy and beautiful
September 21, 2014
holy bitches this looks good.[watched]Dear bitches, this movie is not good, and definitely not in exclamation.
September 1, 2014
Ok small budget movie.
August 16, 2014
Great - but the movies universe should expand - Thale 2 :)
August 15, 2014
Solid work from writer/director Aleksander Nordaas, who shapes a beguiling monster movie without ever truly indulging the tropes that often accompany the chaos. I say RENT IT!!!
August 13, 2014
One of the best films I've watched in a long time and I'm not a fan of horror. Exellent acting, excellent story.
½ July 30, 2014
Outstanding performances and assured editing. The movie has flaws and isn't quite as good it the latter half, but the first half or so is a lesson in how to make a low budget movie tick. It's gripping. (And the latter half is perfectly respectable, it just doesn't quite reach the high bar set in the first half.)
July 19, 2014
Could have been a good film if the subtitles actually made sense!
July 8, 2014
The plot is original and interesting
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2014
This is a good monster movie without ever relying on any of the old, tired monster movie cliches. It's far more observational about how, and this IS is a cliched theme, man is the real monster. That theme is a little tired by now, but I think it works in the context of this film and the story it is trying to tell. It is, after all, everything that Thale had to go through as a consequence of being separated from her family at such a young age and the experiments performed by uncaring scientists searching for an answer to Thale's powers. She goes through this even after she's 'saved' by one of the people that used to perform these experiments on her that just couldn't sit there and watch Thale being poked and prodded. He took her to this underground basement, where he proceeded to perform experiments on, though theoretically not as extreme as the ones she suffered while with the scientists. The film is, really, almost all exposition as recorded cassette tapes reveal the scientist's methods for dealing with Thale and how he's grown attached to her, even if he's doing things that he finds wrong. In many ways this film is about fatherhood and everything that entails. Because Thale and Elvis, much like the scientist and Thale, develop a relationship that is reminiscent of a father-daughter. At first I thought Elvis was going to make it weird by hitting on Thale, but all he wanted to do was protect her and keep her from, at first her parents, who weren't really dangerous, and afterwards the scientists that have been trying to trace Thale through her tail, which emits a kind of signal that's unique to her, sort of like her fingerprint. I did like that part of the film, it's certainly a little more thoughtful than your typical monster film. I think a problem with the film is, however, that it does have some identity issues. Doesn't know if it wants to be a fairy tale-esque story or a horror film. I think there was a way to combine both seamlessly, but this film didn't really achieve it. And the special effects, while minimal, are really atrocious. I think they could've gotten away with not showing the monsters, just show bits of it here and there. Let me see it running in the background, let me see it from a first-person view, but showing it up-close shows the very obvious budgetary limitations the film had. You'd still essentially have the same movie, just try to not show the monsters head-on. That way there's that kind of mystery as to what they looked like. I don't think it'd be cheap, since the film wasn't really about that, it was showing you the monsters inside of us. Still, this is a solid movie after all. Don't let the low-budget look throw you off, this is an interesting, and low-key, film. It definitely works well. Flaws here and there, some that couldn't have been avoided due to the budget, but overall this is an enjoyable movie.
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