Oct 30, 2011

Movie Review: TrollHunter (2010)

Ever since The Blair Witch Project, or The Last Broadcast from the year before if you prefer, horror and found-footage have been a match made in Hell.  Sometimes they are done really well.  Take [Rec], for example. Sometimes they are done really poorly. Take Diary of the Dead, for example.

TrollHunter (or The Troll Hunter) is an example of the former. A whole heap of subtitled Norwegian fun. And who knows more about fun than Norwegians?  They invented Black Metal, fer crissakes!

So there seems to be a bear poaching problem in the wilds of Norway. And some teenage film students are going to find out who is behind it all.  They've got a good lead on a loner hunter driving a Land Rover.  He's the most likely suspect according to some local hunters with proper bear kill licenses.  So they start to follow him around to see if he is, in fact, the perpetrator.

What follows is some good, old-fashioned, mythical fun.  The hunter is actually working for the government.  The TSS, Troll Security Service.  They control the troll populations in the remote forests and mountains of Norway. Sometimes it involves blaming the resulting livestock carnage on rogue bears that they plant at the scenes of destruction. The film actually does a pretty good job of taking seemingly normal, everyday events and blaming them on troll activity.  Bridge down? Troll. Russian backpackers found killed? Troll. Small seismic disturbances? Big troll.

It's not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds.  I know, but really.

The thing is, it's all done very professionally without taking itself too seriously.  Even though that's the general premise of found-footage horror films. They HAVE to take themselves seriously to bring the horror.  But here the filmmakers...well, c'mon...it's trolls! They know how ridiculous that is, so they have a little fun with it. From the first time the hunter yells "TROLL!!! RUN!!!", you know you are in for a good time.  The kids knew it too. Until shit starts to get real.

The trolls themselves look a bit ridiculous, but not too bad considering the nature of the beasts.  And there are several genuine shock/horror moments thrown in for good measure.  The backstory is also handled very well.  About as plausible as you can imagine for a movie that wants the viewer to believe that trolls are real.

I dug it. So will you.

My NetFlix Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


sybil law said...

Okay - was there a troll movie back in the day, too? Because I really thought I'd seen this until you wrote 2010. (This girl Suzanne and I used to rent the worst horror/ slasher movies we could find in like, 9th grade. Example: The Incredible Melting Man.)

That Hank said...

I really liked that they went with straight up Scandinavian traditional trolls rather than try to make them more realistic, if you know what I mean. I dug this flick for sure.

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - Troll 2. The worst ever.

Hank - So much fun, right?

Heff said...

Diary Of The Dead SUCKED ASS !

I was shocked.

Slyde said...

yeah, ive got this on my queue now. maybe this weekend.

p.s. last i talked to you, you said you LIKE diary... i hated it