This was one of those movies that I was super pumped to go see, despite knowing little to nothing about it. I knew it was from Norway, and I mean, come on, when was the last time Norway has let you down? Exactly. I knew it was only getting a limited release so when I found out which theater it was playing at, Cthulhu knows there wasn’t going to be anything getting in my way! I knew that this had to do with trolls, and hunting them, and I knew it was another entry into the annals of “found footage” movies. However, I’d like to point out that this movie is categorized as “non-horror”, but before I actually watched it, I assumed it was a horror film. I think it would be more accurate to call it a B-Movie Sci-Fi with subtitles and trolls. As a warning, I’m not sure if I’m going to spoil anything, because there aren’t really any surprises, but you sure heck bet I’m going to be telling you everything that happens in the movie, just in case you’re the type who doesn’t like reading those kinds of things.
Would you expect any less of a beard from a proclaimed “Troll Hunter”?
A group of college students are trying to track down this dude with a beard who seems to be some sort of hunter/poacher recluse. Despite the fact that he is clearly blowing them off, they are able to follow him one night into the wilderness of Norway to figure out what the fuck he is doing to animals, and to see if there is any connection between him and all of the bears that have been found killed. When they finally get close enough to him in the middle of the woods, they hear terrifying sounds and see flashing lights, followed shortly by the bearded mystery man yelling “TROLL!”, and we are to assume that a troll is what he was battling. Trolls are real, and this guy, played by Otto Jespersen, is the one who hunts them. In fact, his character’s name is “Trolljegeren“, which translates to Trollhunter in English. Apparently this Trolljegeren hunts down and kills various types of trolls, of varying size, but all trolls die in one of two ways: explosion or turning to stone. The whole dead bear thing? Just a coverup to explain why people/animals will end up dead. We see the crew encounter a few different kinds of trolls, a few different hunts that have varying results, and when the Trolljegeren kills a 200 foot tall troll, he disappears and is never heard from again. The same is said about the students who shot the footage, and no one really knows what happens. The end of the film shows the prime minister or president or dictator of Norway, whatever the fuck they call their leader, during an actual press conference where he mentions how much electricity is used in Norway because of “trolls”, which the filmmakers intended to be taken literally, and is a really fun way for the film to end.
TAKE THAT YOU GODDAMNED FUCKING TROLL! TALK ABOUT BEING STONED, AM I RIGHT?!
I’ve gotta be completely honest, and admit to the fact that my immediate reaction wasn’t all that good. I was entertained, but it wasn’t scary like I thought it was going to be. Not that I thought a movie called “TrollHunter” would actually be scary, because I knew it was a type of mockumentary, but I thought it would be a parody of the horror genre as opposed to the sci-fi genre. After sleeping on it and thinking about it more, I can admit that my first impression wasn’t the appropriate one, and that this movie was pretty fun, and creative. The filmmakers were able to come up with pretty believable scientific reasoning as far as what happens with the trolls and why, as well as the rules, regulations, and policies of this federally regulated team. It seemed as though the filmmakers had seen the press conference with the leader of Norway and enjoyed his phrasing when describing the energy situation and really ran with it, creating a really fun monster movie. I don’t remember much about fairy tales and the mythology around trolls, but I do know that there were references that I clearly wasn’t getting. For example, one troll that was being hunted was living under a bridge and was lured out using billy goats, and despite not being able to quite put my finger on the story, I knew it was a reference to something that I had absorbed into my subconscious. If you’re a fan of quality sci-fi monster movies, I definitely recommend it, and the landscapes of Norway certainly lend itself to the idea of giant monsters running around. Who wants to go there and hunt trolls?
Wolfman Moon Scale