Review: The Troll Hunter by Jamie

A short one today because I’m feeling a little under the weather.

Norway is a country that I know very little about so let’s just get into the review. The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren in it’s native tongue) is a Norwegian film shot in the found footage documentary style. It follows the story of three college film makers as they try and make a documentary about a possible bear poacher, Hans, operating in Norway. Initially the man is resistant to there attempts to interview him but they follow him into the forest at night where they are attacked by something and one of the film makers is bitten. After the attack Hans relents and allows them to film him and his work as a Troll Hunter and explains that yes, trolls exist and they are kept in check and kept secret by a shady government organisation. Recently they have been leaving there territory and getting closer to human settlements meaning his work load has increased substantially lately. He destroys the trolls by using bursts of simulated sunlight which enough of can cause the trolls to turn to stone or explode. They then go on several hunts with him, discovering the true nature of trolls and trying to figure out the mystery of why they are venturing outside of their territory.

First of I want to say that this film is pretty goddamn awesome. It manages to be quite tense at times but really quite funny at others. I can’t really remark on the quality of the acting because it’s always hard to gauge when people are talking in a foreign language but it seemed as though everyone was doing a pretty good job.

The special effects of the trolls are generally pretty good but there were times when they did seem very fake, particularly when the first troll on screen and the stone troll it became. There is a band of smaller trolls later on that looked very good and the biggest troll you see is also exceptionally sweet.

There was one other major problem that I had with the film. They seemed to go out of their way to try as hard as they could to make the trolls seem as scientifically viable as possible. They state that the reason that trolls turn to stone or explode when exposed to sunlight is due to an inability to process calcium which causes them to calcify (Ok, maybe not that scientific but they’re doing the best with what they have). There is one trait that the trolls possess which seems impossible to explain away with even pseudoscience and that is their apparent ability to detect Christians by their smell. It just doesn’t make sense and I’m sure it comes from old legends from the area but they discounted other legends claiming that the trolls were essentially long lived, large mammals and didn’t possess substantial intelligence so why not just dispell the Christian smelling myth as well? As far as I can tell it was for a certain part of the story which is understandable but it just seems to not make sense within the context of the reality the film is trying to establish.

Still overall it was a pretty enjoyable film and a pretty nice addition to the admittedly overburdened found footage genre. Three and a half pints out of five.

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