Thale - DVD Review

'doesn't really manage a coherent plot in its limited seventy-six minutes'

An extremely slight and entirely missable Fantasy/Horror from Norway, Thale's (pronounced 'ta-leh') main problem is that it doesn't really manage a coherent plot in its limited seventy-six minutes. Leads Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard) are introduced to us with personal problems as they clean up a house where there's been a death, but if they think they had problems before, they're nothing compared to what happens when they find Thale (Silje Reinåmo), a part human, part mythical creature, pursued by her 'relatives' in the woods.

From these relatively clear beginnings, Thale quickly becomes something of a mess, as director Aleksander Nordaas attempts to both scare us with the claustrophobia of the house and spread the plot out wider with the introduction of at least one new character. Ultimately, the only success in that equation is the house, which does feel scarily closed and cloying, even if nothing that drastic actually happens within it.

As the narrative meanders in an impressively directionless manner for such a short film, it's difficult to know if you are meant to have any sympathy with Elvis and Leo, who are poorly characterised, or with Thale, whose motivations, desires and wants are never really made entirely clear. The later introductions seem only enabled to let Thale and the forest-dwellers get a little bit nasty, but then Nordaas fails to take advantage, instead only giving us a handful of Horror scenes that don't really hit home.

It gets points for an OK atmosphere and the general idea but it never feels like that idea has been fleshed out into anything longer or more significant than a slightly too-long short.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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