Troll hunter (2011)
A group of student film makers follow a notorious bear ‘poacher’ only to discover that he is in fact a ‘troll hunter’ employed by the Norwegian government to kill the wandering mythical creatures that haunt the country’s rural landscape……
“Troll hunter” starts off in chaotic but intriguing fashion and once the first ‘troll’ crashes through the woods in the middle of the night, you know this is going to be one hell of a ride.
The film’s special effects are mighty impressive given the b-movie budget and the trolls themselves look relatively convincing but what’s truly striking about this movie is the gorgeous cinematography of the Norwegian countryside. The camera captures the isolation of the iced-landscapes and the wooded forests with some degree of ‘punch’ indeed; sometimes it feels like you are watching a lovingly detailed nature documentary.
The star of the show is undeniably the troll hunter himself, played by Otto Jespersen. A kind of elderly bounty hunter with an array of strange-looking weapons and air of resignation so thick you could cut it with a knife; here is a man sick of the authorities and their lies, who with age and the passing of time has become quite ambivalent to the consequences of his actions. This makes for a wonderful contrast with the endless optimism of the wide-eyed and youthful student film-makers who become quite besotted with him.
Whilst most of the movie is clearly told in jest, the final third is darker as one of our young film-makers realises that his previous encounter with a troll has likely lead to a significant and very real medical problem……
Stand-out scenes include a magnificent drawn-out sequence in which our troll hunter and his camera crew scope-out a ‘troll lair’ only to be trapped inside and forced to hide as several trolls return. But can they hide the stench of one of their number’s secret Christianity? (Trolls pick up on that you know).
Some viewers may find the script a bit clunky and awkward but this likely just reflects the foreign nature of the film to an English-speaking audience.
Overall, a defiantly cool and crazy movie built on a tongue-in-cheek dark fantasy; very much recommended.
hotdog rating: 7.5/10