The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren)
The Troll Hunter is a Swedish mockumentary by André Øvredal. It has excellent production value, realistic looking creatures and a realistic enough act by the players involved to make it see almost real. Like Blair witch and other movies shot in this fashion, it begins and ends with the claim that the video footage was found and that perhaps someone out there will have more information as to what happened to the disappearance of the people who shot the film. The whole attitude behind hunting trolls itself within the film is one of all fun and games. There are jokes, and many Norwegian inside references to storybooks and the like dealing with trolls. There are also many references in the film visually that will remind people who are familiar with those stories of the old books. By the time you are halfway through the movie you will start to believe that the Trolljegeren Hans (Otto Jespersen) is the only person that is taking things seriously.
The premise of the movie is that a collective of students are filming and interviewing people over the killing of bears by non-licensed poachers around Norway. What they soon learn is that one strange hunter who’s suspected of being the culprit is aggressively uncooperative about being interviewed and his habits and strange disappearances lead them to follow him. After following him for many days, and spying on his movements in and around his trailer. The two students Finn (Hans Morten Hansen) and Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) go too far when they trail him into a Forest and Finn gets bitten by an animal.
This last occurrence is too much the mysterious hunter to ignore so he helps to treat Finn’s wounds and accepts them along with him for the hunt. He tells them that they can come along under one condition, they must do everything he asks despite how bizarre it may be. He explains that trolls are what he is hunting and that the bite that Finn had suffered was from one of them. What this leads to is a great adventure of the students following Hans and seeing him at work hunting and killing an assortment of trolls. This and their strange troll habits are shown to was from a first persons perspective through the lens of a camcorder.
I think it’s the cinematography that stuck with me the most about The Troll Hunter. Without having traveled to that side of the world you do get a nice field trip through the lens of that camera, as they travel many scenes through the countryside and through foggy mountain roads to even the snowy flats hunting trolls. It is all very beautiful, and the trolls are done extremely well. I was impressed with the special effects that reminded me a lot of Spike Jonez’s Where The Wild Things Are. These things combined with the camaraderie amongst the actors makes for one special piece of film. Americans not familiar with what trolls are, troll folklore or any of the stories dealing with trolls and what they can and cannot do may not completely get this movie. But I still think any one that sees it will generally like it for not only the human drama that’s in it, but also for the thrill that takes place when hunting trolls.
The Troll Hunter is no doubt a film that will be picked up by an American company to remake just like REC. and Let The Right One In. How effective would a remake be about a Norwegian fantasy? Only time will tell but this original version for this movie-lover is good enough and really does not require a remake. If you get a chance to watch The Troll Hunter please do, as you will not be disappointed in the film..