Blair Witch triggered a number of copycats films like “Cloverfield”, “[Rec]” and “Paranormal Activity” and now the 2010 Norwegian fantasy film “The Troll Hunter” which is playing as the midnight film at the Main Art Theatre on Aug 12th and 13th.
The film starts out with a group of students making a documentary about a mysterious bear hunter Hans (play by controversial Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen). When they try to interview him after the killing of a bear, Hans tells them to get lost. As expected, the kids persist in trailing him around the scenic Norwegian countryside. As they follow him into the woods one night, they are surprised as Hans all of a sudden runs past them yelling “Troll”. This is soon followed by a three-headed troll chasing after them.
After things settle down, Hans agrees to let them the kids film his troll hunting as long as they follow his directions immediately. It seems that Hans is a bit tired of his years of hunting and is fed up with the bureaucracy of it all and gives the kids a look at the country’s attempts to hide the troll problem. We see the other cogs in the machine from a veterinarian, bear corpse providers and the reason for massive power lines in desolate areas.
The films troll effects are pretty decent for a low budget film. Not always perfect but it hits more often than it misses and Jespersen really sells his role as a worn out hunter. The film also blends classic troll folklore with some nice modern takes. These are not the Trolls from the puerile (yet fun) film series of the late 80’s but living, breathing representations of a whole races of different types of troll-kind including a troll that is 200 feet tall. Our hero is trying to find out why trolls are acting out-of-sorts and our crew is determined to bring the truth to the people (if the government doesn’t stop them).
If you enjoy the slate of hand-held films in recent years, I think you will find this one of the better ones available. Definitely a film that will find itself talked about as a cult film in years to come, make sure you see this on the big screen this weekend.
My grade is an A- for this fun fantasy romp.