Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Troll Hunter (2010)

A group of 3 Norwegian college students start following a grizzly guy called Hans because they believe he is a bear poacher, an issue that is currently relevant in their town. After they have followed him into the woods one night they discover that he is actually the titular Troll Hunter. His job involves studying, but mainly killing, Norway’s Troll population. As the students are filming for a documentary, the film is shot from the POV of the cameraman, a la Blair Witch/Cloverfield.

The film was a lot funnier than I expected. It was hilarious seeing the TSS (that’s the Troll Security Service) covering up Troll activity by lugging a dead bear to the site, and the stomping around with bear paws on the end of sticks/shoes to leave fake bear tracks! There was also a tremendous scene where Hans has to take a Troll blood sample while dressed in a protective iron suit.

The film makers must have had so much fun making the film. There are a few references to fairy tales; such as the Billy goats gruff in a scene where three sheep are left on a bridge to lure out the Troll lurking underneath. I can also imagine the director, André Øvredal, and cast driving through the countryside filming and making up stuff about what they see and relating it to Trolls.

Even though it is filmed in shaky-hand POV, the Norwegian scenery looks stunning, and the Trolls also look amazing, especially the enormous Mountain Troll at the climax. Of course none of the images have been altered at all (so it says at the start of the film! - all very Fargo), which all adds to the humour of it. It probably doesn’t do anything for the perception of Norwegians, being portrayed either as crazy wild-men, or a bit simple (never questioning why power lines go in a huge circle and don’t actually go anywhere). Though there is an attempt to shoe-horn in some science to explain why trolls turn to stone in daylight, it doesn’t really serve much purpose.

However, this is a great film; funny and very entertaining. It builds the tension well before the first Troll encounter; there were none of the jumpy/scary moments that I was expecting, but none the less a very enjoyable film. Of course, if you’re the kind of person who gets sea-sick watching POV films, then this probably isn’t for you.