Troll Hunter (2010)
Sweden has produced a couple of films recently that are wonderful additions to the thriller genre. Let the Right One In is a compact little film that turns a vampire into a sympathetic character in the form of a relatively normal 12-year-old girl. It has its creepy turns and the ending is a doozy. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is again another film that is thoroughly engaging, although its content is extremely uncomfortable to watch at times.
Given that Sweden caught our attention, we wondered what else Scandinavia had to offer. Leaving the Swedish shores before feeling compelled to watch Abba: The Movie, we turned southward towards Denmark. The first film on the list? Terribly Happy. In short order, we left Danish cinema feeling more terrible than happy. We will return again after Denmark apologizes. Iceland’s Jar City is still sitting on the shelf awaiting a soon-to-happen viewing, but the Norwegian Troll Hunter caught our attention. Intriguing premise – mockumentary style movie about student filmographers trailing a government-sanctioned employee that hunts … trolls. Really. And not little Harry Potter trolls. Big ones that can destroy forests and whose flatulence can level buildings.
The premise is outrageous, but after settling down, the mockumentary style sucks you in. What with logical and scientific explanations for stuff like why trolls turn to stone or explode in sunlight to why people don’t know they exist, it’s so preposterously serious you can’t help but become true believers like the film students.
Unlike the Blair Witch Project, though, this horror mockumentary keeps it pretty light (PG-13 rating) … no gratuitous violence or sex (fun for the whole family, we suppose). For a $4m budget, the effects are surprisingly good. No Avatar quality CGI, but again, the story draws you in so it works. At the end, there is still just enough tongue planted in cheek to make a person avoid taking it anymore seriously than the filmmakers intend but still just dramatic enough to make one mull the possibilities that trolls actually walk among us. In short, it’s great fun for a Friday night when you feel like watching something with trolls in it (as opposed to Troll from 1986), and not too scary to make your tweeners wet themselves.