Re:View – ‘Troll Hunter’

The Arts

I had rather higher expectations for ‘Troll Hunter’ than the actual fun it delivered. This Norwegian creature feature is no ‘Monsters’, that’s for sure, but it’s funny in a deadpan Nordic way. Hopefully, though, we’ll have seen the end of the motion-sickness inducing ‘found footage’ phenomenon.

Three students hoping to make their name as broadcast journalists track a supposed bear poacher through some spectacular, empty Norwegian countryside, only to find that he has bigger game in mind.

It seems trolls are real, and there are lots of different species. The government keeps them under control by licensing the poacher, who smears himself with reeking troll-spit and turns them to stone with the aid of a giant flash-lamp (I swear I’m not making this up). There are some fun set-ups involving the chasing down of smelly, growling, farting trolls under bridges and through pine forests, and expectations rise when trees start falling and the first troll approaches. But what crashingly lets the film down is the troll design, which is very much based on fairytale illustrations. As a result, it’s impossible to imagine that a three-headed troll with a huge nose is much of a threat (unless it fell on you – a distinct possibility).

Fun, then, in its silly never-crack-a-smile dryness, but it’s a bit like expecting to be frightened by big teddy bears. And if one more character said ‘Turn that thing off’ to the cameraman I’d have gone mad.

One comment on “Re:View – ‘Troll Hunter’”

  1. J. Folgard says:

    I read an interview of the directors, accompanied with some production design sketches -I think I’ll enjoy the contrast between the old shakycam shtick and the trolls’ Moomin faces. Nice review, especially that last line!

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