Who knew? Trolls actually exist! They aren’t just creatures designed to scare children in fairy tales, they are actually real. In fact, Norway has a huge population of them and its government has been keeping them a secret, and is still trying to keep it that way. The task of capturing or killing these trolls if they escape their allotted area is left up to one man, Hans, who is often mistaken for a poacher of bears, due to the fact that the government often places the body of a dead bear near where troll activity has taken place to make the animal a scapegoat and to continue to keep the public in the dark about the existence of trolls.
A team of journalists from a college newspaper are trying to get an interview with the “poacher”, and as such are secretly following his every move. One night while on the path of the man, he suddenly bursts out of the trees yelling “TROLL!” and flees for his life with the others following him. When the journalists discover for themselves that trolls really do exist, they realize that they have a much bigger story on their hands. They ask Hans if they can tag along with him and film exactly what he does. Surprisingly he agrees to this, and sets out to find out why a large number of trolls are suddenly leaving their designated areas.
This is a Norwegian film and it is one of those P.O.V / found footage horror films, filmed on digital camera. Personally I am a little tired of these films and I think they are becoming much more regular due to the low costs involved in making them. Because of all this the idea isn’t as fresh as it once was but I suppose for this kind of film, “Troll Hunter” is actually pretty good. The use of trolls as the monster is a fresh angle I suppose, it is just a shame that when they are on screen they look a little ridiculous. Still the film succeeds by having interesting characters that you actually enjoy being around and the main character of Hans is outstanding. He talks about trolls with a seriousness and matter-of-factness that you would expect from an expert, but he also shows a tiredness or weariness of a man who has had enough of his job.
The film is naturally quite funny in places with the casual banter between the group, and there is a particularly funny joke involving a Christian, which is followed up with an equally funny joke when a Muslim joins the team later in the film. The film’s biggest flaw is that it is far too long. These kinds of films need to have a relatively short running time, otherwise it lessens the effectiveness of the gimmick (for example, the two “REC” films both have running times just over seventy minutes and are great examples of P.O.V horror). Obviously because of the nature of this film, visually it isn’t going to look pretty and is full of shaky-cam, but this is the only time I can accept this type of camerawork in a film.
Overall “Troll Hunter” is not a bad film, actually for what it is, it is pretty good, but it just didn’t stand out for me. Also for a horror film, it had limited scares.