Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Troll Hunter: Review (Spoiler Free)

This little gem out of Norway has been hitting the indie and international film circuits recently to much applause. All I can say is, believe the hype. This is a "found footage" film which many have been comparing (unfairly) to The Blair Witch Project, since it's really the only Cinéma vérité that most American film goers are familiar with. The truth is, this movie is much more similar in tone to the French movie Man Bites Dog (which came out almost a decade before Blair Witch). As an aside, if you've never seen Man Bites Dog, rent it. It's a must see for anyone that likes dark comedies. Anyway, on to the review...

The story opens with a group of college kids doing a story on the bear problem and possible bear poaching in an area near them in Norway. They start following a guy they think is a bear poacher, mainly because they think it would be an interesting slant to the story for the college. As they find out rather startling, that this guy isn't out hunting bears, he's hunting trolls. 

Yes, trolls are real. They're dumb, they eat pretty much anything (including rocks), and the government knows about them and tries to keep them penned into an area using electric power lines. Hans, the troll hunter, works for the government in taking care of rogue trolls (insert your own Sarah Palin joke here) for all of Norway. 

Along the way we find out all the facts about trolls, and also the different variety (or species if you will) of them. One of the facts, that trolls can smell the blood of a Christian, is used to some very good comedic effect and timing in a few places in the movie. 

So how was the movie? It takes a little while to get started (almost 25-30 minutes) before you start to get into it, but once it does get started it's a fun ride. Also, if you're not into subtitles (and your Norwegian is a little rusty) then this isn't for you, since the entire movie is subtitled. Hans, the troll hunter, I can see becoming another iconic movie bad ass like John McClain, or (more likely) Ash from the Evil Dead series. He has a calm, matter-of-fact kind of attitude that works very well for this kind of movie. 

The CGI trolls were done very well, and for the budget were actually much more believable than the craptastic creature from JJ Abrams' bloated Super 8. Plus there's actually an attempt in this movie not to demonize the trolls, but to place them in the animal kingdom as just another part of the flora and fauna of the Earth. Very well done all the way around. 

Rating: Full Price Ticket for Multiple Viewings. If this movie is playing near you, go see it and have some fun. 

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