Troll Hunter (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/09/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Andre Ovredal's documentary style creature-feature is a lot of fun, thanks to some terrific special effects and a knowing script that cleverly riffs on existing troll mythology; however, it is slightly too long and suffers from a frustrating lack of character development.

What's it all about?
Directed by Andre Ovredal, Troll Hunter is a Norwegian monster movie that presents itself as a Cloverfield-style found-footage documentary, in which student filmmakers Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud), Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) and Johanna (Johanna Morck) track down what they think is an illegal bear-hunter (Otto Jespersen as Hans). They soon discover that he is, in fact, a government sanctioned Troll Hunter and that several giant trolls (of both the woodland and mountain varieties) have escaped their designated areas.

It turns out that Hans is sick of being pushed around by the bureaucrats at the top secret Troll Security Service, so he welcomes the exposure and agrees to let the filmmakers tag along as he pursues a Ringlefinch troll, armed with a giant UV light capable of making the troll either turn to stone or explode.

The Good
First things first: if you're going to call a film Troll Hunter, then you'd damn well better make sure you deliver on the troll action. Fortunately, Troll Hunter comes up trumps in that respect and the special effects are genuinely impressive, with clever attention paid to each of the different troll designs (apparently they are heavily drawn from existing Norwegian mythology), while their interaction with both the landscape and the actors is nothing short of jaw-dropping, especially during the exciting climax.

Aside from some enjoyable digs at government conspiracies (including a brilliant final gag) and creating its own set of troll-based rules (e.g. the need to cover yourself in “troll stench”), the script has a lot of fun riffing on existing troll mythology, most notably in a brilliant scene involving three goats and a bridge but also in a great running gag about trolls being able to “smell the blood of a Christian man.”

The Bad
The only real problem with the film is that there's very little in the way of character development, which has an unfortunate knock-on effect on the rest of the film because the troll-hunting starts to feel a little repetitive and you don't know the characters well enough to care whether they get eaten by trolls or not.

Worth seeing?
Troll Hunter is a hugely enjoyable, inventively directed creature feature with a witty script and some fabulous special effects. Here's hoping it spawns a whole new genre of troll tales. Highly recommended.

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Troll Hunter (15)
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Content updated: 15/12/2018 00:31

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