Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#1,254. Troll Hunter (2010)

Directed By: André Øvredal

Starring: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum

Tag line: "You'll believe it when you see it!"

Trivia: Summit Entertainment bought the rights to produce an American remake before this film's initial release

Three wannabe filmmakers: Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud), Johanna (Johanna Mørck), and Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen), are hot on the trail of a suspected bear poacher named Hans (Otto Jespersen). But when they follow him into the woods one evening, hoping to catch him in the act, the trio discovers that Hans is actually tracking a creature much bigger, and more unpredictable, than any bear. 

Hans, you see, works for the TSS, or Troll Security Service, a branch of the government tasked with keeping Norway’s huge troll population under control. Skeptical at first, Thomas and the others soon realize that trolls do, indeed, exist, and though his job requires absolute secrecy, Hans permits the three to ride along with him, exposing them to the occasionally exciting, often dangerous world of troll hunting.

Released in 2010, director André Øvredal’s Troll Hunter is another entry in the found footage sub-genre, yet aside from the occasional “shaky cam”, the movie makes good use of its documentary-like approach, bringing an air of authenticity to what might otherwise have been a fantastically unbelievable tale. Part of the credit for the movie's success has to go to the three young actors playing the film crew, all of whom do a fine job, but the best performance is easily Otto Jespersen's turn as Hans. He delivers his lines with such a quiet confidence that we believe every single word, no matter how outlandish his comments may seem. At one point, he even asks his new friends if any of them are practicing Christians, because, apparently, trolls can smell Christian blood from a mile away!

Along with the performances, Troll Hunter features a bevy of outstanding effects, which bring the various trolls to life in a surprisingly convincing manner. The first troll that Thomas and the others encounter is an enormous beast with 3 heads, standing 30 feet tall and knocking down trees as it chases them through the woods. Initially, we catch only brief glimpses of this troll, mostly because Kalle, the cameraman, is scared out of his wits and running for his life. But when he stops and switches the camera to night vision, we finally see the creature in all its glory. The scene ends with another spectacular effect, showing us what happens when a troll is exposed to bright light.

Even if you’ve grown weary of found footage movies, I’d recommend you give Troll Hunter a chance. A wildly imaginative film that’s also a hell of a lot of fun, Troll Hunter is an absolute blast!

1 comment:

Christopher Lindsay said...

I agree with your analysis: The film has "a feeling of authenticity to what is otherwise a fantastically unbelievable tale."

I wrote a short essay on Trollhunter called "The Christian Knight." If you would like to read it, here is the link: https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/troll-hunter/