A place to escape between here and there

Monster Review: Troll Hunter ~ Norwegian Mockumentary Exposes Existence of Trolls

I came across this flick on YouTube about a year ago when I saw a new trailer for a foreign movie called, Troll Hunter, directed by André Øvredal. The effect of the teaser being the shaky camera, the quick movements, people screaming, and line “The most important film of our time is Norwegian.” left me thirsting for more. So when I saw it appear on Netflix’s instant watch list, I jumped at the chance to view it. Shot with the same jerky camera appeal that made The Blair Witch Project, or Cloverfield shine, Troll Hunter brings back the old myths and legends of the Norse trolls, only to prove they’re not myths.

Something is happening in the hills and mountains of Norway. It seems bears are to blame for a lot of problems, including killing people, which galvanizes a group of university film students to follow the accounts and document their findings. But as they begin to follow a supposed bear poacher, they discover bears aren’t what’s behind the recent problems, and the poacher’s not hunting normal game. Hans (played by Otto Jespersen), they find, is a troll hunter, dispatched by a sect of the Norwegian government to dispel trolls that wander from their territory and to close to human occupied areas.

After being convinced of the existence of trolls, the students agree with Hans to follow the troll hunter and film his work. Knowing the government will not like this idea, Hans describes how the job sucks and he’s ready for people to know just how dangerous it is to go wandering in the wrong neck of the woods. He then goes on throughout the movie telling tiny stories, and giving very convincing explanations as to how these creatures have been covered up for years.

“People want natural explanations. But if you know what to look for, you’ll see what’s caused by trolls.” says Hans as he explains how a bridge collapse was caused by a troll standing up and hitting the bridge with its head.

To me this film covers all its tracks. From why some trolls explode instead of turning to stone from exposure to light, to why some have three heads.  Even the very Jurassic Park explanation as to why there are so many high voltage powerlines crossing the beautiful mountains. After all you need something to keep the big guys contained. Right? The running joke about how the trolls can sniff out Christian blood was also a nice laughable touch. All the little details that made my skin itch with the question, could this be real? Well could it?

A film like this deserves attention, and it’s getting it, im just not sure how I feel about it. From what I hear, a remake is already in the works. Yep, it seems Chris Columbus, of Gremlins and The Goonies fame, has taken the reigns over on the U.S. rights to the film, and a script is being written. It might not be true, but I read that a lot of the dialect in the original was improvised. It does seem to have that feel to it, with the casual flow, and the dry comical delivery that Otto Jespersen brings to the table. And if that’s true, I really hope that the new film would be the same. For the most part I can’t believe America has to take a NEW perfectly amazing foreign film and desensitize it so quickly.

Ah, but I digress. The bottom line is see this film! Through all of the reviews and comments I have seen for this movie I haven’t come across many bad ones. For the most part people believe that this how “found films” should be and I agree. Like I said before it left me wanting more, movie wise, and also knowledge wise. After I finished watching I jumped onto my computer to read up as much as I could about trolls, and even Norway. So it should be no surprised that since I like this movie that I give it 4 out of 5 stars in alignment. If I haven’t convinced you, well then just check out the trailer below, or the actual movie on Netflix. Enjoy!

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3 responses

  1. I must say, I’ve wanted to catch this film for a long time (it’s such a shame that our chain cinemas here at home are so predictable in what they choose to show), but I’m convinced it’s worth tracking down now! I read about it in Total Film a while back (I remember some discussion about the different troll designs), but I’m dying to see those awesome sketches brought to life on screen. I’ve heard it described as more of a “fantasy adventure” than Blair Witch-style horror, but the trailer looks pretty fantastically horrific… Would you say it could be considered horror comedy at all?

    Alas, the curse of the remake does indeed strike again… http://www.totalfilm.com/news/chris-columbus-bags-the-remake-rights-to-trollhunter

    January 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    • More like dark fantasy, than fantasy adventure. The horror comedy aspect is there, thanks to Otto Jesperson’s clean delivery of backhanded comments through the film. I found myself laughing out loud a few times.

      January 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

  2. genevieve

    i loved this movie and laughed my ass off several times, especially in the beginning.
    but i found myself wondering the same thing: is this real? i even went so far as to wonder if the footage was real and they just found look-alike actors to claim they were the real ones (farfetched, absolutely, but i wouldn’t put anything past a group of humans who really want to cover something up). Assuming they were acting, it was great. Dialogue was almost exactly like i would have imagined it to be and some of their facial expressions were priceless.

    worth seeing.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

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