If I were granted the all-powerful position of “Superior Overlord Of All Movies Being Made”, the first order of action I would take would be to make Nicholas Cage appear in movies with his actual hair…or whatever is left of it. No more god-fucking-awful wigs. Because then he would probably stop acting altogether for fear of millions of people seeing his skull for what it truly is…and that would make me happy. The second would be banning all “found footage” movies forever. I’ve had it with them. While the sub-genre has offered us a hand full of greats (MAN BITES DOG, BEHIND THE MASK & BLAIR WITCH), there is also a shit pile of terrible films too high to even mention them by name. The rag has been rung dry and enough is enough, right? Well I guess it’s a good thing that I never have and never will be elected to this almighty position that doesn’t even exist. Because if I was, I would have never had the opportunity to see one of the coolest movies to come out in a long time.
Some crazy shit is going on in the mountains and countrysides of Norway. The bodies of dead bears are being found, sheep carcasses are being piled up under bridges, bridges are being destroyed and fields of trees are being completely devastated…oh, and some dead tourist too! But there’s no need to worry because, just like with any good cover-up or conspiracy, government officials have an explanation for everything. From natural disasters to animal attacks, the men in charge have all the answers the people of Norway need to not have to worry about the real threat…50 foot fucking trolls!!
A group of college students begin to follow a mysterious man, Hans, who they think is a bear poacher responsible for the recent surge of bear killings in the area. After a few days, they follow him into a forest in the middle of the night. After some monstrous growls and tremors in the earth, Hans comes running at them through the woods screaming “RUN…TROLLS!!!”. One of the kids is clawed by the beast but everyone makes it out alive. Not actually seeing the thing that attacked him, the kids believe it was a bear. But Hans insists that trolls do exist, and that was definitely one of them.
Hans reveals that he works for a secret department of the government, Troll Security Service and it’s his job to capture/kill escaped trolls. But Hans is becoming weary of his thankless job and doesn’t care about keeping secrets anymore. So he agrees to let the kids follow and film him as he hunts down the monsters reeking havoc along the Norwegian countryside. And while the kids laugh Hans off as a fucking lunatic, they soon find out otherwise as they get closer then they ever thought possible to a monster that they never knew existed. With each “scene” that they arrive on, we learn a little bit more about the trolls. Their appetite for Christian blood and rubber tires, the bad reaction they get from the Sun or UV rays, and how their teeth just aren’t strong enough to bite through body armor made of pots, pans and a garbage can.
This has to be one of the most original and, easily, one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. Maybe I’m overexcited because I’m not really exposed to a lot of troll themed entertainment. Up until this movie, I really didn’t know much about trolls at all. I knew of the famous “internet troll” who leaves cowardly, mostly anonymous, comments on websites in an effort to be a complete douchebag…but who gives a fuck about him? Not very entertaining, just sad really. The other thing I knew about trolls was what Frank Reynolds had said…that I would “have to pay the troll toll if I wanted to get into the boy’s hole”…but everyone knows that,right?!
TROLL HUNTER is not a scary film and I don’t think it was intended to be. While there are some pretty tense moments, it has great sense of humor to it all. It’s not trying to jam some heavy-handed political or social message down you throat. It’s not watered down by some heartfelt “humans in crisis learn to love” idea. Writer/Director André Øvredal is just trying to entertain and he pulls it off marvelously.
Now, we’ll have to sit back, wait for the U.S. remake, and watch Hollywood shit all over this one!