In this world, there are a few things we can be sure of: death, taxes and… the existence of trolls?
Well, that’s the truth according to André Øvredal, the Norwegian filmmaker responsible for the horror mockumentary The Troll Hunter. And by trolls, he doesn’t mean the ones with the fluoro tuff for a hairdo, but the really ugly guys with three heads and beyond-gross excrement. It’s either going to scare the hell out of you, or cause you to burst out laughing.
Shot in 29 days across Norway with a budget of under $4 million, the film’s first nod towards The Blair Witch Project is how it explains that experts took a year to confirm that the found footage was authentic. What follows is the story of students Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud), Johanna (Johanna Morch) and Kalle (scarcely-seen Tomas Alf Larsen) following around The Troll Hunter (Norwegian comic Otto Jespersen) to uncover what’s really behind a mass of destroyed properties and reservations. They discover strange things pretty quickly and it turns into a battle for survival as the four work together to capture footage and stop the trolls from their rampage at the same time.
There are some good laughs in The Troll Hunter as the incredulity increases; Thomas’ disgust at having to spread ‘troll scent’ all over himself is a highlight. Director Øvredal has taken over 10 years to give us his second feature, and what results is a fun ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously. With much material supposedly improvised, the cast handle themselves well, and while it doesn’t particularly add anything new to the found footage genre, it doesn’t detract from it either.
The Troll Hunter: fearless, entertaining and worthy of becoming a sleeper hit.
The Troll Hunter screens as part of the 2011 Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival.