Friday, April 27, 2012


Get out your rocks and UV rays, we're reviewing Trollhunter!
Trolhunter is a Norwegian found footage film in the vain of Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. I wouldn't say it's scary, but it's interesting. It's refreshing to see a property of something other than ghosts or zombies.

Thomas, Johanna and Kalle set off to film a documentary for their college about bear hunters. They find one man who's always around bear attack sites but isn't a registered bear hunter. Thinking they're going to get a hot scoop of a bear poacher, they tail him, until to find out what he's really hunting: Trolls!

It's a bit slow at first, especially you've seen the previews and you already know,yes, this movie is about trolls.  But when they finally do fairly quickly compared to some other monster movies, the movie picks up the slack.  It's not really frightening, at best there's a lot of tension over whether or not the camera crew will get eaten.  But it is extremely fascinating.  They set up this whole world in which Trolls are real, they have troll rules, and the Norwegian government is trying to cover it up.  It's worth seeing just for the originality.
AAAAAHHHH! Don't look into its eyes!
The cgi isn't amazing.  Obviously it was low budget, and it shows. But, it's trolls, and it's still pretty great what they did with whatever budget they had.  The shaky cam can get super shaky, especially when they're running (which they do often), so if you're not a shaky cam fan, this will not be your favorite.  Still, it's filmed fairly decently, and the camera work is consistent enough to be believable.  They even have a few nice tricks like night vision and having the camera lens break.

What's most interesting is how they incorporate all the troll lore into the modern job of tracking and killing; how they explain the different types of trolls, what kills them, what attracts them, it's all really fun.   What's more is that we get to see how the government covers it up with bear attacks, and it's pretty fun.  They've created this whole world for this specific monster and it makes me wish there were more of these found footage monster movies or TV shows. Like what if Finding Bigfoot was real fake instead of fake real and they had some silly cgi bigfoots(bigfeet?) stomping around each episode? Wouldn't that be way more entertaining?

I like the character of Hans(the actual troll hunter) and his story. He does the hardest job in the land, but no one knows about it and he's paid barely anything. And it's not just a matter of hunting them all down and killing them, he has to maintain their habitat like any other wild animal.  He has a real affection for their way of life and respects them as creatures, like a park ranger would with bears, and he's almost sad when he has to kill one.  He's got this gruffness to him and he's tired of his job. The only reason he lets the students tag along to film him is that, "Maybe it's time for a change". Kind of a sign of the times.
Most of the time why they follow him and why they keep tagging along is explained fairly well, but there're a couple of parts where a character's too dumb to be realistic. SPOILER ALERT One of the kids gets mauled by a troll pretty bad, enough to have an open wound. And he doesn't think to go to the hospital at all? Really? Even when he's able to go back to civilization?  You are not bright, sir.  Not to mention, going to the hospital would have answered a question they were asking since the beginning of the movie. Idiot. END SPOILER ALERT.

Overall it's a pretty enjoyable film. It's not scary and the shaky cam can be a bit annoying, but it's still fun entering the world of trolls.

THE GOOD: fun premise, trolls are cool, it can get funny, Hanns the trollhunter is a complex character

THE BAD: lots of shaky cam, cgi isn't amazing, kind of drags from the start, characters are dumb for no reason

OVERALL: Pretty fun! Not genre bending/defining, but still entertaining. $$$.  Netflix/stream/rent it if you get a chance.

MOVIES LIKE IT: Cloverfield, Blair Witch project, Quarantine, Chronicle, Big Man Japan

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: SEMI SPOILER ALERT Hans asks if anyone is Christian, because the Troll can smell the blood of a Christian Man. The Camera person is muslim, they ask if that's ok. Hans goes, "Well, I guess we'll find out." END SEMI SPOILER ALERT

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