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The Troll Hunter

A movie directed by André Øvredal

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A humorous, wickedly satirical horror/comedy mockumentary that's a certain winner.

  • Oct 2, 2011
*** out of ****

Found-footage horror is beginning to show its age; as you may have saw if you watched "Paranormal Activity 2" or "Apollo 18". People are running out of ideas, and the independent filmmakers who originally started this trend are getting less attention than those who simply use the style as a gimmick for their "film". We all want someone to just come along and completely blow our minds with something fresh, new, and scary. What's that? You really, really want all three in one film? Then I've got a movie for you.

That movie is "The Troll Hunter"; a mocumentary-style horror flick that embraces undertones of action/adventure and even comedy. It succeeds because it has a sense of humor, which if you checked the status of horror cinema recently, is something that most films of its type are simply lacking. Sure, it isn't the new "Blair Witch Project", but it's just as effective overall. It's kind of a mess, but it works; and I had a really good time watching it, and these days, that's more than enough for me. A lot of work went into the film, and a lot of quality came back out in return. This is the kind of film that you might watch over-and-over again, not because you love it, but simply because it's interesting and unique in equal doses.

Take a look at the title, and you've got your basic plot right then and there. This film is indeed about a man who hunts trolls; but in order to do the film justice through a review, I believe I should delve deeper into what makes this man successful at his work. You aren't called a "troll hunter" for nothing; you have to be skilled, I'd expect. But then again, I've never hunted trolls. None of us have. Perhaps some of the crazy bastards of Norway, where the film takes place, have tried it for themselves; and no doubt, this film may inspire some young people to go hunting in the woods for the ugly, towering beasts. Anyways, I'm getting distracted; ever-so-easily.

I said the film was a mockumentary, thus, there must be a crew filming every encounter and every event shown on-camera. I like this approach when it's done right, and "The Troll Hunter" definitely has the feel of something worthwhile and creative. The trolls themselves are derived from Old Norwegian legends of the beings, which I liked. The film doesn't give us too much insight, but it does have a nice satirical tone, which is where the film gets most of its big laughs from. The trolls are so important to this story that, to my surprise, they may just be more characterized than the actual humans are. Basically, your crew is made up of ignorant college kids; many of them whom I don't care to name or mention that much, since they each lack a memorable personality; with the exception of the one Christian in the group, who, as you may know from trailers and advertisements, does his part to land his group in a pit of endless trouble.

The only character I can say I gave a damn about was the "troll hunter" himself; Hans. He's played by the Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen; who just-plain owns the role. He's got a kick-ass beard, a simple but somehow memorable name, and pretty much the best job in the world. He truly gets some of the best scenes; a favorite of mine being where he shows the crew the paperwork that he must fill out every time he kills a troll. Moments like these are sure to amuse most members of the audience; but I also found them truly clever aside, since I do believe "amusing" and "clever" are two very different things.

Fairly low-budget and using a well-known cinematic technique, "The Troll Hunter" is actually some pretty good stuff as long as you're willing to forgive it for its lack of intellectual characters (aside from ol' Hans). The trolls actually look pretty good, considering this is indeed low-budget. The setting works fine and helps to make the film truly one-of-a-kind and you can't help but enjoy it as far as escapist entertainment goes. I laughed, I cared about the film, and it was a fun time. Nothing fantastic, nothing great, nothing legendary; but most certainly something to talk about. I'd recommend it to fans of the horror genre, satire, and trolls alike. It's silly, but admittedly so. It appears to have a smirk on its face throughout its entirety, which some people might be puzzled by on first sight. I however found it sort of admirable that a film would want to confuse and probably turn its back on an audience. Not everyone will find "The Troll Hunter" to their liking, but all-in-all, that's the film's choice. We need well-thought-up films such as this one. If they don't exist, then we will begin to perish. So enjoy them, warts in all, while they last; and watch out, horror line-up of 2011. "The Troll Hunter" is here, and it's coming to town to kick your ass. Fair warning.

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October 08, 2011
This was a fun watch!!
More The Troll Hunter reviews
review by . April 11, 2012
Three dedicated Norwegian students create a fine documentary
Three Norwegian college students made this documentary as a film studies project. We know them only by their first names, Kalle, Johanna and Thomas. Although this film was given the unfortunate name, Troll Hunter, it is primarily a disturbing educational experience. Some of what a viewer sees might seem unnecessarily bloody and frightening, but this is what these students found after they attached themselves to a reclusive, surly bear hunter. I will only say that this man, Hans, and his superior, …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie



Director: André Øvredal
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Release Date: 29 October 2010 (Norway)
Screen Writer: André Øvredal
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