Posted January 3, 2012 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Troll Hunter DVD


If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a hugely entertaining film, and some trolls.

If you go down to the woods
today you’re sure of a hugely entertaining film, and some trolls.

In
the past few years the little snow-covered country of Norway has emerged as
something of a leading force in darkly comedic horror films. First came the brilliantly over the top
Dead Snow (2009) then last year’s Rare Exports (2010) and now we are
treated to Troll Hunter. Like the
countries picturesque landscape and long nights Norwegian films have a
wonderfully bleak sense of timing.
Troll Hunter is no exception and makes fun use of the tried and tested
‘found footage’ sub-genre of modern day horrors.

The
film pertains to be the raw found footage of a group of film students. Setting out to make a documentary about
bear hunting they are drawn to a mysterious man whom many believe is a bear
poacher. Following him into the
woods one night they hear all manner of un-Godly sounds, flashing lights and a
trembling beneath their feet. The
‘poacher’, Hans (Otto Jespersen),
emerges from the woods and screams ‘Troll’ before whisking them to safety. It turns out that Hans is no bear
poacher, he is in fact working, in secret, for the Norwegian government in
keeping Trolls under control and hidden from the general population.

So
while the fairy tales about Trolls are true, they live under bridges, can smell
the blood of a Christian man and turn to stone in sunlight (but seem to be
absent the fluorescent hair of your childhood memories) they are also getting
Hans down. As such he agrees to
let the film crew document his job in the hope that it might offer him some recognition. As they set off into the Scandinavian
wilderness the team and Hans will encounter ever more viscous trolls and begin
to unravel a worrying epidemic that is spreading.

The
found footage genre has been all too readily utilised by the horror genre. From its early origins of Cannibal Holocaust (1980) to The Blair Witch Project (1999) through
to the current crop of Paranormal
Activity
franchise (2007) it is a well-worn staple. However, Troll Hunter plays less with
the horror elements of the genre and instead allows the cinema-verite stylings
to bring a fun filled monster movie to life with a relatively low budget. Yes we get the shaky camera work, the
spooky glow of night-vision and the runny nosed pieces to camera, but it’s all
done with a wry smile and a nod to the trappings it’s falling into. Think Cloverfield (2008) played for laughs rather than adrenaline and
you’re close to capturing Troll Hunters idealism.

The
trolls come in all shapes and sizes, some have multiple heads, some dwell in
disused mines, leading to a particularly unpleasant moment of flatulence for
our film crew, while others are vast giants herded into rural and unpopulated
areas by electrical lines. Hans
meanwhile, played with a vulnerable gruffness by Norwegian comedian Jespersen,
is a kind of Quint from Jaws (1975)
he’s seen it all before, there’s not a troll out there who can best him and
he’s sick to the back teeth of having to file paper-work and getting little to
no reward for the job and hours he works.
He cuts a tragic figure and is far more sympathetic a character than the
film crew we are following.

Troll
Hunter never tries to re-invent the genre but plays with it like a naughty
child and makes for a hugely charming and entertaining romp. Just remember that trolls bite and this
one packs quite a punch.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com