Friday, May 4, 2018

Movie Review: Trollhunter (2010)

Trollhunter (2010) written and directed by Andre Ovredal

A trio of students tries to make a documentary about a rogue bear killer in Norway. After way too much set up, they find the guy and discover that he hunts something much bigger than a bear. He hunts trolls for a secret government department that wants to keep the trolls contained to their territories and kept away from the public eye. The troll hunter reluctantly lets them document his work.

The movie is a found footage film in the vein of The Blair Witch Project, complete with opening title cards claiming the footage was found on a couple of hard drives and edited down but not enhanced with special effects. And end cards claiming the students have disappeared and anyone with information should contact their local police. As often happens in found footage films, the set up takes too long and the scenes of running away from danger are less interesting and less plausible--the camera is just jiggling around the landscape with maybe some sound effects or the occasional glimpse of something significant. How you feel about found footage films will be a major factor in your enjoyment of the film.

The movie has a weird dynamic--the troll hunter dismisses fairy tales as a source of information but the trolls definitely can smell the blood of a Christian (the troll hunter is not so sure about Muslims). Happily, the movie doesn't bother with a scientific explanation, it just states characteristics of these trolls and you either take it or leave it. The filmmakers are aware of the ridiculousness of the premise but take it seriously enough to keep it out of the realm of mere comedy. The movie is more drama and horror but has enough comedy to make it fun.

The landscapes are truly beautiful, so as a travel film, this is a delight. How you feel about landscapes will be a minor factor in your enjoyment of the film.

Slightly recommended, as a bit of foreign geography and creative license showing someone hunting trolls in modern-day Norway.

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