Troll Hunter

This brilliantly bonkers Norwegian film does exactly what it says on the tin really…

A group of students are making a documentary about a spate of mysterious bear killings when they come across one suspicious man who they think is responsible (he does have a big gun after all). But when they follow him one night, they realise the bizarre truth…that’s right: he’s actually hunting trolls (obvs).

With a new exciting subject for their documentary and with permission from disillusioned hunter Hans (Otto Jespersen), they follow him in his dangerous government appointed job, seeing him kill any trolls who are coming too close to where humans live.

Troll Hunter is actually very funny – the deadpan humour from the hunter is great as he talks about his work as if it’s a normal 9 to 5 job and also from his exasperation with the students who talk about the trolls in awe while he just sees them as a nuisance. One particularly funny part is when Hans asks if any of them are Christian – apparently trolls can smell Christian blood which is obviously going to be very, very dangerous if any of them believes in God.

The fact that his occupation is talked about in regular job terms is one of the things that make it so appealing to watch as well – Hans is a relatable character stuck in a boring job (although in a job where he could get crushed or eaten at any moment) who is fed up with being taken for granted by his employer and for being overlooked by the rest of the world who don’t even know his job exists. Apparently even troll hunters have to do tedious paperwork as well.

The trolls themselves are very convincing and well detailed. You almost believe that they are real when you see them set against the woodland backdrop at night – pretty good for a low-budget film…

It’s also very scary. The night hunts in particular are terrifying to watch sometimes, the first person camera (like in The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield) putting you right into the confusing action.

However the whole idea of the authentic ‘found’ footage is becoming a bit contrived and…gimmicky – do we really need another film that follows this vein? It’s starting to get old. It’s like the film is trying to find a similar horror hook used in films like Blair Witch, [Rec], Paranormal Activity, etc. etc. ETC. It would work well without it and it detracts from the whole idea of the faux documentary style because we are waiting to see exactly why and how the footage was ‘found’.

But anyway…Troll Hunter is still a funny, scary, low-budget indie film that feels more like a big Hollywood blockbuster. Check it out before Hollywood actually remake it (which they are doing – Sigh).

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~ by square-eyed-geek on September 23, 2011.

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