After having a surprise hit with zombie Nazis in 2009 with Dead Snow, the Norwegian film industry surprised us again the following year with Troll Hunter picking up genre fandom awards and lots of great press.
After reading the rave reviews for this offbeat movie I was a little distressed to learn that it adopts the dreaded ‘found footage’ format, one that I’ve never been a fan of and one that I find filmmakers take too many liberties with. But I’m glad to say that the format works here for two reasons. The first reason is that the movie is a light toned mockumentary so we’re not supposed to take the found footage too serious in the first place. The second is that it avoids the pit fall of using the format to conveniently obscure the ‘monsters’ the viewers are promised. On the contrary, if you’re watching with a hunger to see actual trolls, this movie delivers in spades. In fact one of that great achievements is the fantastic job they did designing the Trolls in great detail and doing it justice with the CGI.
A trio of young journalist filmmakers decide to follow up on the story of a bear poacher, one for which a particular reclusive hunter has been tagged by licensed hunters as the obvious culprit for the bear carcases that have been turning up. The trio start following the poacher to try to catch him in the act. Instead they learn that he is on a mission to stop trolls that have been popping up all over the countryside, and he uses bear carcases as decoys to explain away the actual prey the trolls has gotten to, the animals and the odd human here and there.
But the hunter is fed up of the solitude and secrecy he has been harboring for many years, all covertly sanctioned by a select few others, one being a government TSS (Troll Security Service) lackey. He rebels and decides to tell everything about the long history of trolls and troll hunting to his new found friends and brings them along for the hunt.
While lots of details remain obscure, the hunter gives us a taxonomy of trolls, from the smallest Ringlefinch to the mighty Jötnar. We learn why some have three heads, what they like to eat, and how they turn to stone (and occasionally blow up). It’s all good fun and a long overdue Troll movie since we were subjected to Troll 2.
I had so much fun, I’m going to dust off my other Norwegian DVDs post haste: Dead Snow and Cold Prey.
Ser deg seinare! (See you later!)