Universal Pictures / Netflix
+++ Opinion +++
After various «Blair Witch», «[REC]», «Paranomal Activity» parts and their imitators, the air is long gone from the found footage choice. For me, the «re-watch» value of these films is also very low. However, there is only one found footage film that I enjoy watching over and over again: The fantasy mockumentary “ Troll Hunter ” from 2010 is so imaginative, so – in the best sense of the word – idiosyncratic and hilarious that I would like to share it with you would like to strongly recommend.
Even if you’re already familiar with Troll Hunter, you’ll probably notice new subtleties or little quips in this creatively made and cleverly written film even as you watch it over and over again. As a bonus, for the Scandinavian lovers among us, the fascinating Norwegian landscape with lots of forest and monumental mountains is authentically presented — complemented by the tongue-in-cheek yet aptly portrayed, dry eccentricity of its inhabitants. The latter includes Nordic mythology with rites and mythical creatures that seem strange to outsiders, and which at least influence the everyday life of many people there to this day.
The surprising, over long stretches extremely exciting monster, action and fantasy adventure with a comedy element can only be seen on a Netflix subscription for a short time — up to and including March 31st. In addition, it can be purchased on DVD and Blu-ray, or streamed for a fee on other services:
» «Troll Hunter» on Amazon Prime Video *
» «Troll Hunter» as Blu-ray or DVD on Amazon *
Universal Pictures International France Two of the great attractions of «Troll Hunter»: one of the monsters and the breathtaking landscape in which they move.
Here’s what «Troll Hunter» on Netflix is all about:
A Norwegian film company released an anonymously submitted video containing raw footage shot with a handheld camera. This was apparently created by the film students Thomas ( Glenn Erland Tosterud ), Johanna ( Johanna Mørck ) and Kalle ( Tomas Alf Larsen ): On behalf of their university, the trio is trying to track down an alleged bear poacher for a documentary who is in the most remote corners of the country up to mischief. As local hunters report, there are some suspicious inconsistencies in the environment of the animal corpses that are repeatedly found here.
When the three finally found the man, they experience a huge surprise. Because Hans ( Otto Jespersen ) claims to be employed by the government. He would be a kind of game warden, monitoring the boundaries of the troll reserves set up in deserted regions and having to hunt down any specimens that escape. And that’s before the population gets wind of their existence and can panic. At first the young people make fun of Hans, thinking he’s a crackpot. But then suddenly one of the huge monsters he described storms out of the forest…
A tribute to classic monster movies
The hunter’s confrontations with the mythical creatures, which at times actually look real, make a lot of cinematic impressions and sometimes look really spectacular. Especially when you consider that the makers here only had a fraction of the budget of their colleagues from US blockbusters.
The trolls are in their diversity — there are various species, three-headed, pure cave dwellers, from large to gigantic, from harmless and dopey to extremely aggressive. Although they were animated on the computer in a very modern way, the visual implementation is pleasantly reminiscent of classic monster films. The visuals and movement of the creatures are clearly inspired by the creations of legendary special effects guru Ray Harryhausen (“Mind Below”, “Clash of the Titans”).
Universal Pictures International France The coolest guy in all of Norway: Trollhunter Hans (Otto Jespersen)
In «Troll Hunter» one absurdity follows the next
What gave me the most pleasure on the big screen back then was the many lovingly built-in gags on the sidelines. For example the detailed official form that Hans has to fill out after every encounter with one of the creatures. You don’t need to know Norwegian to understand most of the weird points right away.
As the story progresses, «Troll Hunter» surpasses itself several times over with its small and large absurdities. So it’s not enough that Hans ties a couple of bleating goats to a bridge in the forest as bait in order to attract a particularly rare troll subspecies. He also has to spill a bucket of human blood on it. But by no means just any blood — it is expressly intended to be the lifeblood of believing Christians. A circumstance that will play an important role in the finale.
Then as now, I keep seeing the director and writer of the film, André Øvredal («Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark»), during such comedy interludes. I can imagine him writhing with joy as he was writing the script at another successful joke of this kind. A reaction that – at least for me – is transferred 1:1 to the viewer.
The unbelievable seems plausible
Despite the imaginatively designed trolls, the students each with realistic character traits and a government official beautifully embodied by Hans Morten Hansen («Curling King»), there can only be one star of the film: It is, of course, Otto Jespersen (» Asphalt Burning”) in his first leading role. The sober, often extremely taciturn, but completely natural appearance of the comedian, who regularly draws attention to himself with controversial actions in his home country, is simply perfect for the part.
The integration of real facts into the crazy story is also particularly satisfying. So Øvredal sells us the high-voltage lines that run through the real world and even in remote, deserted areas as fences to keep the trolls in their reserves. “The peasants hate those things; as does the national tourist office,” he lets Thomas state in the voiceover of a landscape scene. Followed by the addition that Hans, on the other hand, found her really beautiful.
Ever since I first saw the film, whenever I’ve been to any of the Nordic countries and I spot a high voltage pylon somewhere, I automatically think of Troll Hunter and smile. Shortly after that I take a good look around; just to make sure a troll doesn’t come out of the woods behind me and want to eat me. And I’m not even of Christian faith…
Troll Hunter Trailer DF