I have been hearing about Trollhunter for a while. People said that a found-footage horror movie was actually good again. I have never seen The Blair Witch Project and I thought Cloverfield was ok. But the thought that Trolls staying hidden from the outside world was going to be explained intrigued me. I was kinterested (kinda interested).
I had it on my snail mail Netflix Queue and all of a sudden it shows up on my instant queue. So I found myself watching the story of how Norway hides the fact that trolls exist from the outside world.
The story follows three film students who think they are going to catch a bear poacher in the act of breaking the law. Through their intrepid reporting they instead find out that he is in fact an employee of the government who is supposed to track down and destroy rebel trolls.
You see, trolls are big, dumb animals. Really big, and in many cases really dumb. They have natural habitats that aren’t really inhabitable by humans. As long as they stick to their areas, they don’t bother us and we don’t bother them.
For a movie that plays half documentary and half horror I found myself enraptured by what was going on the whole time. Docs are usually Miller’s territory and horror is usually Jonny’s cup of tea. I am glad that I can do the double crossover and still be entertained.
The first thing that made this film great were the trolls. Director André Øvredal creates an elaborate set of rules for how trolls exist, eat, die and react to each other. He builds quite a few rules and as far as I can tell he sticks to them all while trying to create “scientific” reasons for why everything they do happens. There are several different types of trolls, they develop as they age, and they even exist in different terrains depending on the species of troll.
Getting to finally see your first troll is pretty amazing. Trollhunter absolutely lets the awe and tension build before it ever reveals a troll. When it finally does you are as amazed and freaked out as the three college kids who are our surrogates in the film. The more trolls that I was exposed to, the more interested I became in seeing the different types.
The second thing that made this film great was the troll hunter. His name is Hans and he is a badass. (If you have read my previous reviews, you will know that I always love the badass.) He is a single man who has been hunting down and destroying creatures that are anywhere from 10 times to 100 times his size. He is very good at it and we get to learn much of the troll lore through him.
The trolls and the troll hunter interacting was the final reason Trollhunter grabbed me. The ingenious ways that Hans finds to trap and kill these animals are really fun. (I especially loved his Iron Man moves.) On the flip side, the trolls pull out some pretty impressive moves of their own. The final troll is so awe-inspiring I could have watched the whole movie waiting just to see him and still have been wholly satisfied.
I will give my one gripe with the film: the last 45 seconds. What one character does is so against everything that he has done before that point, that it just seems stupid. There was such an obvious alternative ending (Trolls eat everyone) that it felt like they really had no idea what to do.
I also need to add in one caveat. I watched this film with subtitles. Hearing the real actors inflections drew me in. I have heard from others that the dubbed version has voice actors so horrible that it actually turns this film into a shitty comedy. You have been warned.
Trollhunter is not for everyone. If you don’t like cgi, than you will probably find nothing in this film for you. If you don’t like myths and fairy tales, then I would absolutely stay away. But if you are intrigued to see what all of these trolls look like and enjoy some epic world building, then I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by Trollhunter. Definitely worth a view.
Have you seen Trollhunter? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.