Right off the bat, we’re introduced to two work-a-day stooges, Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), cleaning out an abandoned house as employees of what we learn is called No Shit Cleaning Services. Given we have absolutely zero context, we’re left to believe that either these are highly trained niche professionals, or they’re working on something a bit more unusual than what we’d expect from a “cleaning service” assigned to an abandoned house.
The mute girl seems unusually powerful, but acts timid and frightful of these two average joes. As they radio their bosses, with the promise of help to arrive, there’s a feeling-out period, while a terrified Elvis pokes around looking for some sort of sign as to why she’s in this basement (as something of a non sequitur, Leo is amusingly only half-interested). The fact that they wait a considerable amount of time before deciding to place clothes on the girl suggests that the filmmakers may have come up with the money-shot of Thale’s thin, prehensile tail emerging out of her backside, and decided to work backwards from that point.
The look of “Thale” is also something of a double-edged sword, impressively professional for what is likely a small-budgeted film, but at points maybe too professional, like the immaculate tableau of the worst of Platinum Dunes’ dim-witted horror remakes. The abandoned house looks less like an organic creation and more like an immaculately designed set, a haunted house instead of a real home left behind by another. Similarly, a flood of last reel special effects look professional enough to not be laughable, but not realistic enough to be plausible within the film’s universe, and not nearly as imaginative as a film about a naked forest woman creature with magical powers merits. Which also, come to think of it, pretty much summarizes the movie. [C-]