Director: André Øvredal
Writers: André Øvredal, Håvard S. Johansen (contributing writer)
Stars: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg and Knut Nærum
Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 103 minutes
This is a Norwegian film (with subtitles) that follows the Blair Witch construct of being based on anonymous video tapes of an incident that has not as yet been proven. As with the Blair Witch the filming of Troll Hunter is all done with handheld cameras and there is plenty of running around the woods at night too. It’s not an all out horror film, but it is creepy and there are monsters…
The setting is northern and rural Norway and the film-makers are a small group of students following what they initially assume to be a bear hunter / poacher. That man, Hans, lives an itinerant and secretive life from a dirty 4×4 and caravan. He provokes intrigue from the students and anger from various licensed bear hunters on the road. As it quickly materializes, Hans is a troll hunter and as such is chasing beasts far bigger and scarier than any wild bear.
I enjoyed this film a lot, but it is bonkers. Whilst the mythology of trolls is very cleverly explained and directly tied into the often scientific work of Hans the hunter, the movie is all about chasing after huge fairytale creatures and as such it is borderline silly. For that reason it is not as scary as it might have been, but the upside is some good humour at times, some creepy night vision based camera work and lots of the great Norwegian outdoors.