Trollhunter is a mocumentary of sorts, with the opening cards telling you that the film was examined and believed to be real and is run in chronological order. It is a very fun movie. Silly? Yes. Entertaining? Darn tootin’. In fact, it is one of the better hand held mocumentary style films I have seen since Chronicle.
The film begins with the college students interviewing local bear hunters who believe that there is a bear poacher in the area. The bear hunters are strictly controlled by the government, and when they find the body of a bear all assume that it is this new guy in town. The students take to following this man and he blows them off. So they keep following him, eventually getting him to allow them to film his exploits hunting ‘trolls’. Of course, the students are dubious as to the existence of trolls, but quickly learn that this guy is on the up and up; trolls do exist and he is keeping them where they belong by killing the ones who stray out of their regions. The trolls are hidden by the government and the general population believes them to be nothing more than creatures in fairy tales due to the work of the government and the troll hunter.
The key to enjoying this film greatly is having a base-line knowledge of troll lore. Sure, we should all know by now (thanks to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) that trolls will turn to stone in daylight. But did you know that they might explode as well? The older ones turn to stone, while the younger ones explode. Also, did you know that they were mammals and could live for 1000 to 1200 years? And especially that if you are Christian you should not hunt trolls because they can smell the blood of a Christian man? Oh, and they can’t be seen by satellite imaging (?). If you have a slight knowledge of Norwegian folklore, you will find a lot of things to entertain you here. Some of the folk lore has made it’s way to the US in fairy tales, but there was a lot more I was introduced to in the film that I did not know.
What I found amazing is how serious the film makers took the subject matter. I will admit this is a super-silly premise, but the film makers firmly keep the film in the realm of reality, albeit with trolls. There are some funny things going on in the movie, and I found myself chuckling a few times at the events unfolding on screen. On the whole, though, they don’t resort to making this a silly film. It is not a comedy, but it also knows that it is presenting you with an entirely implausible plot. But is that any different than The Blair Witch Project or Chronicle or even Cloverfield? I am sure that a lot of American viewers will chalk this film up as being too silly, but the films just named are no less silly when you actually sit down and think about it.
Trollhunter is an entertaining romp through the gorgeous landscapes of the Norwegian countryside. Usually when we see a film set in this area of the world all we see is snow and ice. This film proves that is not the case. There is some snow and ice near the end, though, so don’t worry. You only have to throw out a few of your stereotypes for this part of the world.
I thoroughly enjoyed Trollhunter. While there are some things that I’m sure went over my head, not being a scholar of Norwegian folklore, I found that this film is very entertaining. While there are some things not explained in as great detail as I hoped (why can’t trolls be seen on satellite imaging?), they did attempt to give satisfactory answers for other things (why they turn to stone or explode in daylight; you have to see the film to find out). I would recommend this film to anyone who might have a passing interest after reading this review. I liked it a lot, and have no problem giving this film:
*** out of ****
- Willow is finally coming to Blu-Ray! (bizzammovienews.com)