Review: Troll Hunter

Though this light hearted monster flick arrived with lots of positive pre-publicity, my heart sank at the start when it revealedit would be going with the fake documentary found footage ruse.

It's not that I didn't enjoy Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity but that gimmick gets old faster than a mayfly. This, though, does have a novel if counter-intuitive approach to the form.

The traditional approach of the shaky cam horror is to be as realistic as possible, to persuade the viewer to invest that bit more emotionally in the reality of the situation and as a result to get that bit more of an emotional response.

Troll Hunter, though, makes little effort to have you believe in it. Obviously, this is mainly due to the fact that it is a film about a man who hunts trolls across mountains and fjords of Norway.

The opening scroll tells us that what we are seeing is edited down from hundreds of hours of found footage which, after extensive research, has been shown to be genuine.

This is surely the film's defining joke because the first time we see a troll it looks as authentic as something Ray Harryhausen knocked up to menace Sinbad, while later examples resemble Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal remade in the style of The Blair Witch Project.

So the film doesn't invite you to take it seriously but it doesn't offer up much of an invitation to do anything else.

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Watching it you sense that all this troll stuff must have some great relevance to the Norwegian audience but doesn't connect over here.

The title character (Otto Jespersen) is the kind of gruff taciturn lump who would traditionally be among the first tranch of victims in a monster movie, while the Norwegian sense of humour is dry to the point of parched.


Director: Andre Ovredal

Starring: Otto Jespersen, Glen Erland Tosterud, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen.

Length: 103 mins