Troll Hunter

 RATED-(PG-13)-103 MIN-2010

                                               This is a hidden gem of a movie!

Set against the beautiful landscapes of Norway, which really adds much to this film, Troll Hunter is one of those “found footage” movies where the participants have gone missing and you are shown the video that was left behind. Three college students are filming a documentary of sorts on the recent wave of bear killings in Volda, Norway. Their investigation leads them to a mysterious man, who the locals think may be involved, as he spends all night out in the woods and speaks to no one. His truck also has lots of strange gashes in it, like it was clawed by some large predator.

After trailing him one night in the woods, they run up against a …yep…TROLL!  After a very well done chase scene through the woods, filmed and edited better than most Hollywood fare, the students learn that the mystery man: Hans (Otto Jespersen), works secretly for the Norwegian government hunting down trolls who have left the designated areas they live in and broken out past the borders, lately causing lots of havoc for some unknown reason. Sounds intriguing and fun? It is, and it is surprisingly suspenseful, mainly because, for the most part, it seems to be respecting the lore of these creatures. Huge kudos to the director: (André Øvredal), the cinematographer: (Hallvard Bræin), and the editor: (Per-Erik Eriksen), as they deserve credit for how good this looks and is presented.

So Hans, is very wary of his job, with long hours, and all the secrets he’s kept. He tells the students that if they dare, they can come film and document what he does. So begins this movie, as each troll is found, dispatched, and the history of the nature of trolls is conveyed by Hans to the students. They are told all sorts of cool stuff like what they eat, what kinds of troll there are, how big they get, and so on, and so on. It actually is rather interesting as someone who is not well versed in troll folklore. There is also the point that is made many times in the film, that trolls have a disdain for Christians, (look it up), and that sets up some rather humorous scenes in the film, as Hans asks the students if they believe in God. When one of them lies, bad things happen man. Yes, there is a troll under a bridge.

The cast is all good, especially Jespersen, who is very matter of fact and serious, as the man who has hunted them for too long and holds a very painful secret. The handheld video, and on the fly footage, the great use of night vision, and the very creative ways the filmmakers let you see glimpses of the trolls, until the big reveal, is so well done, it had me wondering why this movie didn’t get a wider release. I look forward to these filmmakers next project.

So, how do the trolls look? They appear like they have jumped out the drawings and paintings of  Norse mythology just as they should. This movie was a very fun surprise and I strongly recommend you see this hidden gem….then Google or Bing Trolls.

Watch the trailer: