Synema Synopsis: The Troll Hunter

"Can you spare a square?"

by Matt Orlove

The Troll Hunter



In the last 15 years, Scandinavia has pumped out some cinematic magic.  If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, start by queuing up some great films like Denmark’s Pusher series and After the Wedding, as well as Sweden’s Let the Right One In and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I recently saw Norway’s contribution with The Troll Hunter. The movie was originally released in 2010 in Norway, and we just got this one now.

Let me start by saying if you’re not into the recent trend of mockumentary horror (The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity), or the giant monster genre (The Host, Cloverfield), this movie is definitely not for you.  Although you would probably be feeding your brain with better clutter than say, Something Borrowed.

The film follows three college students, set out to make a documentary about an apparent bear poacher, Hans (Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen).  After following him through Western Norway, they find out Hans was part of the Troll Security Team (TST) hired by the government to track down and kill Trolls. The TST take on the grotesque giants, and then go to lengths to cover everything up so that the people of Norway stay peacefully oblivious to their existence.

"I think there's a story right up this way. Nope, sorry. False Alarm."

Throw away every notion you think you know of how trolls are supposed to look.  These trolls are not the naked, long-haired ones I used to play wi…that were around in my youth.  These gargantuan beasts are flat out nasty. To put it into perspective, in some breeds, a human is a fraction of a troll’s open mouth.

The film is shot beautifully, but that’s really about the only positive I can find. The story is lacking.  Other than maybe the Hans character, there is absolutely no character development for the three college students.  Writers, how is the audience supposed to relate to the main protagonists if you don’t give them anything to latch on to? The tagline of this movie should have read, “PREPARE TO ROOT FOR THE TROLLS”.

For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you if this movie is supposed to be a comedy or horror film.  To make matters more confusing, it’s billed as both. This is no Shaun of the Dead. I found parts to be boring, and at no point was I frightened.

"Hey, I was just peeing in my hand. Just peeing, I swear!"

Because the production of the film is actually well done, I recommend this movie to anyone who is into the before mentioned genres this movie entails.

For everyone else, go to your attics and dig up those naked troll dolls, with the long hair, that I used to play wi…that were around in my youth.