When I was young I developed two irrational fears, the first, bears, developed from a reoccurring dream I had. The second, trolls, originated from my dad’s feverish imagination and love of story telling. At an early age I was convinced under every bridge lived a troll ready to eat whoever tried to cross and it was only until I was into my teenage years that I actually stopped checking under bridges for these mythical creatures. Now years later, director André Øvredal has brought the story of the troll to the big screen with his first feature Trolljegeren (Troll Hunter).
Shot in a vérité style, Troll Hunter is the story of a group of Norwegian film students that set out to capture real-life trolls on camera after learning their existence has been covered up for years by a government conspiracy. A thrilling and wildly entertaining film, Troll Hunter delivers truly fantastic images of giant trolls wreaking havoc on the countryside, with darkly funny adherence to the original Norwegian folklore.
In terms of plot and style, Trolljegeren does feel a little like we’ve seen it all before; amateur filmmakers venturing into the unknown to try and discover the truth behind a myth (sound familiar?), but there’s also something that feels fresh and and playful in Øvredal’s film. Although claiming to be constructed of ‘found footage’ there’s never any pretense regarding what kind of film you’re watching and there definitely aren’t going to be any debates into whether this film is real or not. Instead of falling into the trap of taking itself too serious, something other ‘found footage’ films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity could be accused of, Trolljegeren has it’s tongue firmly planted in its cheek. Øvredal’s film may be tense in places, but its prime goal seems to be to entertain its audience, with thrills, spills and laughs in abundance. Lovers of independent films, like we obviously are here at DN HQ, are often accused of being too serious in their film choices, but there’s no reason indie movies can’t be all about fun and entertainment, something which Trolljegeren undoubtedly proves, as this Norwegian action-thriller can easily cut it with the likes of Cloverfield in providing some spectacular Saturday night watching.