June 20, 2011

Troll Hunter - Review

Troll Hunter is the story of a group of Norwegian film students that set out to capture real-life trolls on camera after learning their existence has been covered up for years by a government conspiracy. A thrilling and wildly entertaining film, the film delivers truly fantastic images of giant trolls wreaking havoc on the countryside, with darkly funny adherence to the original Norwegian folklore.

It's shot in the style of The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield, in which we watch video shot by characters in the moviein that hand-held-camera style. The idea here is that 283 hours of mysterious footage has been found, and after extensive investigation, is concluded to be authentic. It blows the lid off the Norwegian government's cover-up of the troll problem plaguing the country, accounting for rampant livestock carnage, felled trees and random devastation, usually written off by the shadowy Wildlife Board as the work of renegade bears.

During a series of frightening encounters we get a glimpse of the various species of woodland and mountain trolls, learning their quirks and vulnerabilities. Needless to say, they are nothing like those cute tuft-haired '70s trinkets. With life spans of up to 1,200 years, these remarkably stupid predators range from towering three-headed ogres to galumphing cave dwellers.

When power lines (the secret purpose of which is to keep the giant Mountain Kings fenced in) are knocked down, the rogue crew ventures north toward the most dangerous showdown of all, with the Wildlife Board giving chase. When the creatures are finally seen, the CGI work is actually VERY impressive.

Here's a progression reel showing the visual FX breakdown:

Overall it was a very enjoyable film, I found myself always wondering what would happen next. The genre of sci-fi mockumentaries is very small, and for that alone, it's quite original and entertaining.

Cast: Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen, Knut Naerum, Robert Stoltenberg
Director/Screenwriter: Andre Ovredal
Producers: John M. Jacobsen, Sveinung Golimo
Director of photography: Hallvard Braein
Production designer: Martin Gant
Costume designer: Stina Lunde
Editor: Per Erik Eriksen
Visual effects supervisor: Oystein Larsen

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