Trollhunter is a Norwegian Comedy/Fantasy/Horror film from 2010 written and directed by Andre Overdal. Told in a found footage style, Trollhunter’s fairly good when it comes to the fantasy and comedy aspects due primarily to the casting of several well-known Norwegian comedians such as Otto Jespersen. However Trollhunter is quite the opposite of a success when it comes to implementing the horror elements.
Trollhunter tells the tell of three College students Thomas (Glen Erland Tosterud), Johanna (Johanna Morck), and Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) who are doing a documentary on a suspected bear poacher. The group track and follow Hans (Otto Jespersen) for several days trying to get an interview before they stumble across him performing his duties for the government. He saves the crew from a troll attack and allows them to document his real work. Hans asks them two things, first if they will do as he says and second if any of them believe in Jesus or God as trolls can smell the blood of a Christian man. The three students agree to do as he says and claim to be not believe in god. Hans takes them under his wing and shows them the dangerous world of troll hunting as Hans tracks a number of trolls across the region that have broken out of their designated habitats. Hans boss Finn Haugen (Han Morten Hansen) dislikes that Hans has allowed this as trolls are to be kept secret from the public, but due to what Hans sees as abysmal working conditions allows the crew regardless in hopes that their film will spark change.
Trollhunter is an incredibly enjoyable watch almost solely for Otto Jespersens performance as Hans. His work as a comedian really shows through at points. Although he is more than capable of portraying the downtrodden nature of man who hates his work well. Unfortunately, this doesn’t extend to the rest of the principle cast as the three college students often come off as bland and undeveloped. This isn’t a very big issue as they have little screen time as Hans is the subject of the documentary, but I can’t still see it as a missed opportunity. Hans is a veteran and never feels to be in danger, where as the students are but due their bland nature and little screen time it’s hard to connect to them.
The story is where the film truly shines. The more we learn of Hans and the world of hunting trolls it all fits very well. The filmmakers did a great job blending the fantasy into the real world in such a manner that you can see what’s on-screen as real events. The main idea behind found footage is that strong sense of realism. Something done masterfully well done here, except for one small error that’s almost imperceptible unless you know where to look. That’s when Hans is filling out his slayin troll forms, the form reads 2009 but the footage was supposed to have been found in 2008. A small goof that can easily be forgiven.
Final thoughts, good but not scary. Never once did I feel a single ounce of dread from the characters. This due to a number of reasons, but mostly they just never felt in danger and when they were the acting just wasn’t there enough to carry it across the screen. I would suggest this film to anyone who likes light horror and films that are more whimsy the scares. So even though the horror elements are often forgotten about or placed in without the need of them. As film could have been just as good without their use, I give Trollhunter a 7.5/10.