An interesting modern take of an old folklore, The Troll Hunter is a fun mockumentary that’s more creative than The Blair Witch Project.
Three aspiring young filmmakers from Volda University follows a mysterious man – an unlicensed poacher who always hangs around the scene of bear killings much to the chagrin of other professional hunters. Despite repeated rejection the group follows the man into the woods, and discovers that he’s the one man security service of troll management. Hans’ job is to get rid of the creatures who break out of their territories, munching on Christians and sheep and damaging properties in their wake. Due to a shitty salary and the lack of compensation, Hans allows the group to film him on the job.
Just like the Blair Witch Project, the movie is about a group of youngsters making a documentary who eventually deal with some supernatural element, but this mockumentary is more than just an elaborate stunt.
The earth shakes, the trees shiver then Hans comes running out of the woods shouting Troll! and you get to see a real creature brought to life by impressive special effects. The frame sways and the camera flips, but you know full well what you’re running away from.
The characters were amusing (with Otto Jespersen as a convincing troll hunter fed up with bureaucracy), the settings were fantastic (the supposed troll fighting grounds was epic), and the inept government cover up was funny (played out in one scene with deadpan humor).
As the story moves along you get to know more about the folklore, but spun in a realistic way. Trolls are creatures who live like any other animal that “eat , mate and shit”, with different types and territories and certain quirks. There’s even a scientific explanation on what happens to trolls when they get exposed to the sunlight and why.
However the movie is not really a serious horror film, so people with expectations will find themselves disappointed. There isn’t anything particularly terrifying after you’ve seen the first troll. The creatures were supposed to be breaking out of their territories but there isn’t enough shown, instead we get more of the group’s down time. This makes the whole mystery and big reveal less potent.
Overall, its more of a monster film with a social commentary. It churns up the usual theme of man being more of the monster than the monster he thinks is, but its done in an entertaining way to keep you amused throughout.
My Rating: 7/10