troll hunter – norway (2010)
I remember seeing the posters to this all over the tube and being rather intrigued.
University students Thomas, Johanna and Kalle decide to investigate a spate of mysterious bear-killing’s and start to suspect that one particular man (Hans) could be a poacher. He keeps irregular hours, there is much gossip about him in bear-hunting circles. With Thomas presenting, Johanna responsible for audio and Kalle mostly unseen behind the camera, they follow him out into the woods one night and are faced with the realisation that he is no bear-hunter at all. He is hunting FAR bigger prey.
Once they accept that trolls aren’t just creatures of myth and legend, and that hans is actually a government operative, employed to keep the public from ever knowing the truth, they realise they have stumbled across documentary gold. Hans is bored of his lonely life and feels it is about time reality is known to all, so he allows them to follow him and film his work.
Shot with a handheld camera in the style of The Blair Witch Project, Troll Hunter at least serves you up some actual monsters, which come across as slightly comical but pretty realistic somehow. The running around, heavy breathing, crashing through the trees and mis-aimed shots of faces looking terrified are all there, but these students are taking the whole thing with a pinch of salt and enjoying themselves. This puts an edge of comedy onto the whole thing.
There are also some fantastic shots of a very damp Norwegian landscape looking dramatic and spectacular – mainly out of the truck windows.
I really enjoyed it, it’s a film that was obviously never really going to take itself seriously and you certainly feel caught up in the action – I found myself craning my head round to try to see the troll that was often just out of shot. Brilliantly done.
My rating – 8/10