SIFF 2012: Thale ***

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 9, 2012)

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Thale is an economical but highly imaginative sci-fi/horror thriller from Norwegian writer-director Aleksander Nordaas that plays like a mashup of The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  While on the job, two friends who work for a crime scene cleanup business stumble upon what appears to be a makeshift laboratory in a bunker beneath a remote farmhouse. Despite initial appearances, and the fact that the homeowner is most decidedly dead, it is not wholly “deserted”. Imagine their surprise. Not to mention what they discover in the freezer (*shudder*). Creepy, thrilling, generously tempered with deadpan humor and definitely not for the squeamish. This is the latest entry in what seems to be a burgeoning (and exclusively Scandinavian) horror sub-genre: The Mythological Norse Creature Feature, which would include Beowulf and Grendel, the 2011 SIFF hit Trollhunter, and Rare Exports.

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