JT Film Review

The Troll Hunter (2010)

The Troll Hunter (Trolljergen) Review
Review # 151

4.5/5 stars

Director – André Øvredal

Cast – Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck, Tomas Alf Larsen, Otto Jespersen, Urmila Berg-Domaas, Hans Morten Hansen, Knut Nærum, Robert Stoltenberg

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“Found footage” movies are an interesting little sub-genre, in my opinion, and one that has birthed several notable films lately. Of course there was The Blair Witch Project, but more recently the Paranormal Activity series, [REC], Chronicle, and Cloverfield. This shaky, “documentary” technique give the viewer a great sense of immersion in a world. The world becomes one that we seem to live in, rather than one we are just presented with. You feel it more. It immerses you, and I like that. The Troll Hunter is not as shaky in its camea work as Cloverfield, and I like that too.

Is it just me, or do most “found footage” movies follow a similar basic premise? They all feature a monster or alien being, the effects of which a young person/group of young people have to deal with. [REC] had zombies, Cloverfield had that big alien crab/spider thing. There’s the Blair Witch, of course.

The Troll Hunter has trolls. Big old trolls, the design of which is inspired by old Norwegian and European fairy tale illustrations. The story is not new… An small student film crew are investigating a man suspected of illegally killing bears, but once the talk to him they realize the truth is more sinister. It’s fun too; even the students have a bit of wonder on their faces (mixed in with the fear, to be sure), when they stumble upon a skinny troll as tall as a tree, and looking like a woodcut brought to life. Though the kids are more stumbled upon than stumbling; those trolls are huge. And as they stumble around northern Norway, there are more to be seen. Are there ever… The striking poster image(see above) comes from the final sequence of the movie, and it’s just beautiful.

The trolls themselves are the highlight of the movie, I think. They are of ingenius design, purposefully made to look a bit unreal. They would look out of place in Middle-Earth, for example, with bulbous noses and shocking hair. They look a cross between the creatures from Where the Wild Things Are and the dwarves from Snow White. The special effects work is mostly seamless, though there may be a strange bit of physics work at play from time to time. With a small budget though, what else can you expect?

I do not mean to just compare this movie to others, that would do the film a disservice because it is quite unique in many ways. It is scary when it needs to be, but quite fun in general. It plays with our expectations, and goes farther some times than perhaps it should, but it is all in good fun. See the scene where the students talk to a man in charge of power lines in the north of Norway; power lines that in the film’s universe also act as fences to control trolls. “Doesn’t it surprise you that the power lines just go in circle?”, a student deadpans. “No, not really…” The student nods to the camera, and we gues the line must have been improvised, and we grin.

OVERALL

The Troll Hunter is a fun and spooky little movie, that takes itself just the perfect amount of seriously. I plan on rewatching this movie very soon, it’s one of the best movies I have seen in a while. A real diamond in the rough, it will please found footage fans and the average viewer just as much. Highly recommended.

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TRAILER

“The Troll Hunter” on other websites:

IMDB —– Roten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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April 13, 2012 - Posted by | 4.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Fantasy, Year - 2010-2019 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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