A trio of students from Volda University College is filming their investigation about what an alleged irregular bear hunter, but the mysterious man is actually hunting trolls.
After a very nice 2018, we began a new chapter of this journey and I hope an even better year, for all of us.
Our 2018 year ended with a Norwegian series, so for our first post of 2019, we stayed in Norway, but this time for a movie. I decided to start the year with a light and funny film because there are some very tough and gloomy subjects in the oven, getting ready for publication.
This review could be the first and the last of this month, because of some floor installation affecting where I write. The faster the installation ends, the faster I get back to writing.
Disclaimer: The following review might contain some minor spoilers, however, I will try not to spoil the major elements or the closing of the film.
Now, let’s talk about Trolls.
One thing I noticed while searching about these creatures was the lack of information about them in some sources. For example, Spalding’s (1973, p. 39) defines Troll as:
a generic name for giants, used in Scandinavian countries”SPALDING, Tassilo Orpheu. Dicionário de Mitologia, 1973.
While Langer (2015)* in the Dictionary of Nordic Mythology, only briefly mentions Trolls in the Giants section.
*LANGER, Johnni. (Org.). Dicionário de mitologia nórdica: Símbolos, mitos e ritos, 2015.
Life in Norway website explains that this occurs because most of the Nordic mythology was passed by oral tradition. With few written sources and with no consensus among scholars, the terms overlap.
However, some sources got a better definition of the Troll as a unique being. According to Bonnerjea (1927, p. 235), Troll is:
A supernatural being, conceived sometimes as a dwarf, sometimes as a giant, fabled to inhabit caves, hills, and like places. Later, this word came to mean a familiar but impish dwarf.BONNERJEA, Biren. Dictionary of Superstitions and Mythology, 1927.
The movie is very heavy in the folklore surrounding Trolls, and the best description of Trolls I could find and that are compatible with the film is the Mythology.net website.
The site describes the Trolls, among other things, with the appearance of stone, wild hair, and a range of odd characteristics like single eye and multiple heads. All these characteristics are present in the movie.
The main difference in the description of the Trolls from the actual Folklore and those from the movie is the intelligence. Some Trolls from the Scandinavian folklore are more human-like in both appearance and intelligence, having communities and even farming.
The Trolls portrayed in the movie, however, are no different from other, non-folkloric animals, like bears, for example.
“Troll Hunter” (sometimes spelled as Trollhunter) is a mockumentary found footage style, the movie begins telling us that the tapes were anonymously sent to Filmkameratene AS, a production company around Oslo.
In the tapes, three young students are filming an investigative documentary about a mysterious poacher. Bear hunting is a very well state-regulated activity, the suppose poacher is causing an uproar with the licensed bear hunters.
The students are Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) the camera operator, Johanna (Johanna Mørck) the audio operator and Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud) the interviewer.
When the trio finds Hans (Otto Jespersen), the bear poacher, he refuses to talk with them, so the students decide to follow him to finally find out what this guy is really up to. That’s when the crew finds themselves in the middle of a troll hunt.
As usual, I don’t like to see trailers or read too much in-depth about the movie before watching it, so I didn’t know exactly what I was going to experience, sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.
This time, it really paid off. “Troll Hunter” is a very fun, easy to watch movie. I laughed a lot, almost from beginning to end.
I really liked the characters, especially Thomas (the interviewer) and Hans (the hunter). Thomas reminded me of Jordan Pickford, and I like Jordan Pickford, so I think that might have made me like Thomas even more.
A common “Found Footage” movie, usually heavily relies on extreme shaky cam to fake the amateurish of the video, but actually just makes it more unrealistic. With this movie, however, the guy with the camera is a proper cameraman so we don’t have the bullshit gimmick of shaky cam.
Sometimes we don’t see shit, because Kalle is running, so filming is not his top priority at that moment, but it doesn’t happen too many times, and it is with good timing to play a little with our expectations.
I don’t remember any other movie like this one. The story is creative, simple, straightforward and very unique, and the bureaucratic way they portray the fantastic elements of the movie is great.
To understand this last sentence better, imagine if Trolls existed in real life and some government agency had to deal with any issue they could cause. While some would imagine a secret agency like “M.I.B”, this movie chose another approach and I loved it.
Of course, one thing I have to mention is the nice appearance of the movie, with a very beautiful landscape throughout the movie and when the CGI is used, I found it believable enough.
I’m not Norwegian, so I think I might not understand everything about the movie, its subtle details and “inner jokes”, but the things I did understand, was very nice and I can’t think of anything I dislike.
“Troll Hunter” is a funny movie, with likable characters and a well-explored folkloric element, making me really love this movie and it’s perfect for how I wanted our year to begin.
I hope you like the review and the movie, see you in the next review.