If you had to stumble upon an angry, vicious mythic creature, you could do worse than the sexy monster found in Thale by Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), two guys who clean up after crime scenes. At their latest gig, the duo stumble upon Thale (Silje Reinåmo), a stunning woman in a secret basement who emerges out of a milky bathtub and who, it turns out, was kept captive for decades by a man who experimented on her while hiding her from mysterious pursuers. Audiotapes and a severed tail kept in a fridge prove clues to Thale’s folkloric origins, though the mystery is soon altogether sapped by writer-director Aleksander Nordaas’s decision to have Thale provide Elvis with psychic transmissions that bluntly lay out her backstory. Any initial, intriguing otherworldly atmosphere is negated by answers that are more pedestrian than terrifying, and soon the wealth of exposition is accompanied by the appearance of hoofed CG wilderness she-beasts devoid of any terrifying personality. A final confrontation with scientists searching for Thale leads to threats and, soon thereafter, hackneyed and enervating violence, furthering the impression that the film was just an excuse to stage super-slow-motion murder perpetrated by a buxom nude beauty.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 3, 2013