Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) Made in: Norway Language: Norwegian Director: André Øvredal Starring: Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck, Tomas Alf Larsen, Hans Morten Hansen Year: 2010
Synopsis: Three students, Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud), Johanna (Johanna Mørck), and Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen), set out for the wooded wilderness of western Norway. Their goal is to make a filmed exposé about a recent increase of bear poaching, and the local hunters are quick to offer their thoughts.
The hunters, who all know each other, point the finger of blame at a mysterious figure named Hans (Ottos Jespersen). Hans' arrival to the area just as the illegal bear shootings take place seems too suspicious to be coincidental.
The students hope to ambush Hans and get straight answers from him. And while following him deep into the forest one evening, the trio get a lot more than they bargained for. They discover that Hans isn't a bear poacher at all. Instead, he hunts trolls! It turns out that the infamous creatures from Scandinavian folklore exist after all!
Hans is a weary veteran of an ultra secret government agency tasked with containing trolls, and apparently there's something happening which is causing the creatures to rampage from their normal habitat into populated areas.
He has a very limited amount of time to act before things get out of hand, and allows the students to tag along so years of bureaucratic corruption and government secrecy can finally be revealed.
The Good: Troll Hunter is shot documentary style, with the entire film being told from the point of view of the camera operator. With many similarities to the Blair Witch Project the natural landscapes add an effective atmosphere to the overall fantastical theme.
The film also cleverly uses many references to Scandinavian folklore, and the result is a very entertaining blend of action-movie intensity and witty dry humor. What often makes the film funny is Hans' deadpan expression and flatly serious delivery of ridiculous troll facts.
The story overall is focused, and the actors are convincing in making the film look realistic. The digital effects are also impressive, and blend very well with the real footage despite the movie's low budget.
The Bad: The mockumentary genre of filmmaking is a little overused these days, and I think Troll Hunter might have been more successful if it had come out several years earlier. And even with the advances in digital technology, the footage just looked and sounded a little "too professional" for me to believe that this was shot by amateurs.
Who would like this movie: Troll Hunter is for you if you like independent films, mockumentary horror movies, and if you remember fairy tales. You'll also enjoy this film if you appreciate absurd humor and jokes that are more intellectual rather than slapstick.
Overall, it's a witty, creative film that's entertaining and showcases gorgeous shots of Norwegian landscapes.