Norway Release Date: 10/29/2010
Glenn Erland Tosterud, Tomas Alf Larsen, Johanna Morck and Otto Jesperson in Trollhunter
Trollhunter (Trolljegeren) takes place in the very scenic yet mysterious mountains of Norway. It opens with some title cards explaining that what you are about to see is real video and none of the images on it have been manipulated. The entire film's events are seen through the lenses of a camera held by one of three Norwegian college students who decided to investigate the killing of some tourists at the hands of a bear. Clearly The Blair Witch Project's influence was international.
The students meet some bear hunters but soon become interested in one particular hunter named Hans, who keeps to himself and goes off into the woods alone at night. One evening they pursue him down a dark dirt road and into some woods. Suddenly he comes barreling out back passed them yelling, "TROLL!"
There are apparently real honest to goodness tree size trolls living in Norway. At first Hans objects to the students filming him as he is actually a secret government employee paid to kill trolls who have wandered out of their designated territory or have hurt or killed a human. He decides the world needs to know the truth and allows them to trail him.
The first troll we see is huge and resembles a three headed muppet. The special effects are actually decent though, and because the students and Hans react to the troll in a serious manner we take the troll as a serious threat. Whether running through some woods at night, or sneaking into a cave, Trollhunter elicits some actual tension and concern from the audience. The best scene is easily the climactic confrontation with a particularly huge troll in a snow covered landscape. This scene is depicted in the film's movie poster.
The students travel with Hans as he investigates why some trolls have suddenly left their havens and started killing humans. Most of the questions get answered as the students find themselves in one troll confrontation after another. Trollhunter is thrilling yet ridiculous. The movie's plot walks a tight rope over a campy chasm.
Trollhunter makes some obvious troll jokes such as when they find a troll underneath a bridge and try to coax him out by having three goats on top of it. Three Billy Goats Gruff anyone? However, a big deal is made of trolls hating Christians and being able to smell them. I am not sure if that plot point is a creation of the writers or from some other fairy tale?
The movie ends with more title cards explaining the outcome. It also includes a clip of the Norwegian Prime Minister giving a speech in which he states that trolls are real. The very last credit though, shows that this was all done tongue in cheek. It reads, "No trolls were harmed during the making of this movie."
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Photos © Copyright Filmkameratene A/S (2010)