Norwegian horror flick Thale is a little film, in the sense that it was shot on a very low budget with a very small cast, and that director Aleksander Nordaas also served as writer, producer, cinematographer, editor and camera operator. It was shot on sets constructed in his father’s basement.
But it’s large in scope, dealing with supernatural beings, ancient folklore and broadly human themes of guilt and redemption. It also exhibits the swagger of a bigger movie — the lead actors are fully possessed by the material, the special effects are quite good considering the budget, and the sound design works to great effect to amp up the suspense. It’s gruesome and jittery, and will satisfy fans of Hollywood-style horror. And while some of the gentler, emotional material falls flat; Thale (pronounced “tall-eh”) does prod the brain and the heart enough for me to recommend it.