thelma opening scene

In Joachim Trier‘s chilling, slow-burn coming-of-age thriller Thelma, a young woman’s emotions begin to manifest themselves in supernatural ways. It’s an eerie, effective film that burns itself into your mind and lingers long after the credits have rolled. Now the Thelma opening scene has appeared online to give you a better idea of the film’s unsettling tone.

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Thelma director interview

Thelma is the story of a girl who moves away from home for the first time to attend college. And then she falls in love with another girl. And then she realizes that she has horrifying supernatural powers. And then things really go off the rails.

Norway’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Academy awards is many things: a gripping horror story, a queer romance, and a personal drama about realizing that your parents aren’t always right. Director Joachim Trier balances all of these plates, crafting one of 2017’s best movies.

I spoke with Trier over the phone about finding the humanity in a horror story, crafting memorable “bad” parents, and knowing how big is too big with a horror setpiece.

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Thelma Review

Joachim Trier‘s Thelma begins with one of the most haunting opening scenes in recent memory. A young girl and her father trek out into the wilderness surrounding their home, crossing over a frozen lake and entering the woods. The father is armed with a rifle. When his young daughter isn’t looking, he takes aim at the back of her head. He hesitates. He doesn’t pull the trigger.

And then we leap forward a number of years and Thelma (Eili Harboe) is heading to university in Oslo and learns that something is wrong with her. Or right with her. Because Thelma has supernatural abilities. And like any kid heading off to college for the first time, she’s got some serious stuff to figure out.

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thelma trailer

2016 was one of the best years for horror movies in recent memory and 2017 has done a fine job of picking up the torch and running with it. While the incredible Get Out has dominated the headlines with its rave reviews and massive box office, the mainstream has proven surprising (the very entertaining Annabelle: Creation) and the arthouse has given up the goods (the brutal and exquisite Raw).

Thelma looks to continue to the trend. Here’s a horror movie about a girl with supernatural powers grappling with her mysterious abilities and a new relationship during her first year at college. And it’s Norway’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the next Academy Awards. You can watch the first trailer now to see what it’s all about.

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