troll hunter | movie review

Posted on February 29, 2012

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“Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?”

Who doesn’t remember the old story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff? Well what if the story was actually true, that trolls really did live under bridges. Norwegian director André Øvredal takes this idea and runs with it. The result is well worth your time.

The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Rec., The Tunnel. All movies based on “real found footage”. The Troll Hunter is perhaps my favourite of all the handheld camcorder footage movies that I have had the pleasure/misfortune of watching.
While Troll Hunter lacks the brilliance of some of those other movies, it has enough going for it to make it a thoroughly entertaining movie.
Troll Hunter is a small Norwegian movie [yes… it has subtitles], and the Troll Hunter of the title is a man called Hans. Hans is not a happy hunter, as the Norwegian government pay him to track and kill trolls and to cover the damage and carnage up by spinning stories of bear attacks.
When a small group of student filmmakers Thomas, Johanna and Kalle trying to do a film on bear poaching meet Hans, he decides to let them tag along and slowly begins to tell these inquisitive youngsters the truth about trolls and the secrets surrounding their existence.  And so we begin learn about the different types of mountain and woodland trolls, their eating habbits, where they sleep and how they have changed the landscape with their battles. A lot of the things we thing we know about trolls from our stories and fables, are explained and some revealed to be true and others to be false. Of course we already know how the movie ends – but what happens in between is lots of fun.
The actors here do a great job – from the weary Hunter to the sceptical students who soon become both terrified and overwhelmed with excitement at their discovery. The scenery is beautiful, and it has to be said that the cgi looks far better than that present in some of the big budget movies being churned out.  

As someone who used to spend a lot of evening and weekends playing fantasy roleplaying games – from D&D to Warhammer and Middle Earth – I absolutely lapped up this movie. It’s a fresh break from the norm, with an interesting story, interesting characters and some great trolls. There should definitely be a follow up to this little baby, but hopefully not a lame remake.

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