Starring: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum
Director: André Øvredal
Running Time: 105 mins
Trollhunter (Trolljegeren) is a Norwegian film about a group of students who, while investigating a series of illegal bear killings, stumble upon something much more, discovering that the man they have been following is a troll hunter.
This is a really exciting and compelling monster movie that has the air of Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield all rolled into one, but it goes even further, to make for great thrills as well as strong characters that you really do care about, something which many horror movies fail to do.
The main thing about this film is that it’s shot as one of those found-footage films, and unlike many that do it just to fit the horror movie trend, this uses that technique and runs with it, using the shaky handheld cinematography to heighten the sense of chaos, panic and fear in the more exciting scenes, which is something that was absolutely fantastic to see pulled off for once.
What’s more is that the screenplay here makes for a story that is not only thrilling to follow along to, but also properly believable. Despite all the mad fantasy involved in this film, it’s got such a realistic feel that you start to genuinely believe in all of the troll folklore that it’s talking about, and although the movie knows that it’s all a bit over the top as seen through its rather light-hearted atmosphere, it’s still an engaging concept to follow.
The characters in this film, although few, are really strong. Another detriment of modern horror movies is that the characters are there only to scream and run away, however you learn about the people in this film during the non-horror period at the beginning that builds up to the troll hunting, and that means that, come the end of the film, you’ve got a much stronger connection with them that makes you really fear for their lives in the scarier sequences, making it once again all the more exciting.
This film has also got a very good sense of humour. It doesn’t take itself too seriously like many other fantasy movies, a relaxed attitude that in turn makes it more convincing and entertaining to watch, whilst there is some good comedy throughout, by way of strange use of troll folklore in the modern setting or some other weird concept being thrown in there in the same way.
Overall, this gets a 7.7, because it’s a massively entertaining and exciting indie horror movie that bucks the trend of its genre and goes for a format that works out really well.