In Review: Troll Hunter (2010)

By Adam Vaughan

Do you remember the fairytale ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ about some goats trying to negotiate a bridge under which dwells a troll? Well, according to this Norwegian pseudo-doc it isn’t just a story. Not only are Trolls real, they’re living in the forests of Norway and making right nuisances of themselves.

Continuing the current trend for ‘found footage’ documentaries, TrollHunter records a group of students as they attempt to unravel a mystery involving an unusual spate of recent bear killings.

They track down Hans (Otto Jespersen), a grizzled-looking loner who moves from one campsite to another in his dilapidated trailer, believing him to be the illegal poacher. One night they pursue him into the woods and, following some strange noises and bright bursts of ultraviolet light, Hans emerges from the murky forest and runs up to the crew’s camera, shouting “Run! Trollllll!” which remains the tone for most of the rest of the film.

TrollHunter is pretty awesome. In fact, it’s the remedy to recent, disappointing horror-docs Apollo 18 and Paranormal Activity 2 which were lacking in originality. I doubt another film this year will teach you so much about troll mythology and if there is, it probably won’t be as witty. Jespersen is wonderfully laconic as the lone troll tracker.

The intrepid filmmakers also display their wry sense of humour on more than one occasion with their disparaging remarks to the troll tracker and knowing quips to the documentary tradition when they say “Do you think Michael Moore gave up after the first try?”

Although it’s some time before we get to hunt any trolls, TrollHunter is great fun, brimming with originality and some genuinely gnarly-looking bit-players.

Adam has awarded TrollHunter four Torches of Truth

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