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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Troll Hunter (2010)

I’m not a fan of found footage movies. Most of the time they just don’t do it for me, but Troll Hunter is different. I remember when it came out a screener showed up for me in the mail and while I hadn’t really heard much about the movie it seemed as like something that I should take a look at. I ended up enjoying it a lot and decided it was time to revisit it.

The movie is set in Norway and picks up with some students shooting a documentary film. They are following some licensed hunters as they go looking for a rogue bear that has been killing livestock. I guess bear hunting is a big deal in Norway because everyone is really mad when they think they are being followed by a poacher out to get the kill for himself. Looking to get an interview the students start shadowing the man, Hans, as he goes about his business. They trail him into the woods one night and end up getting more than they bargained for. Hans hunts Trolls for the government!

The rest of the movie has them tagging along with Hans, who is frustrated about the secrecy and pay that he gets for keeping the peace. As they go, he explains the history and the different types of Trolls that they have to deal with. We also get a mystery as to why so many have been coming down out of their habitats and into human populated locations. Along the way they have many run ins with the creatures as well as the government agency tasked with keeping them secret. Obviously, they aren’t happy that a camera crew is following Hans around documenting everything.

I have a couple complaints about found footage movies, neither of which apply here. First these movies are a place for filmmakers that don’t have an actual script to go and make their movies. Way too many of these movies are generic characters wandering around with the cast trying their best to improvise some dialogue. This movie clearly has an actual script with honest to God characters that are developed as the story progresses. Not only do we have the “Holy Crap” Trolls are real plot, but there are a couple decent subplots as well. Instead of being bored I was interested from start to finish.

The Trolls look great
The found footage genre is also a place where filmmakers who don’t have a budget go. They try and hid the fact that they don’t have an effects budget with shaky camera work that either hides the creature entirely or at least gives you quick glimpses as whatever garbage CGI work, they had money for. Again, that is not the case here. We see Trolls… all kinds of Trolls. They go stomping around the screen smashing things. Other than movies like Cloverfield (which I also enjoy) you hardly ever get to see the creature in a movie like this. Not only do you get to see them they look really good.

Good story and creatures make for a good movie. If you haven’t seen Troll Hunter it is well worth your time. As of the writing of this review I know it is streaming on Shudder as well as being available for rent on Amazon Prime. I recommend checking it out.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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