Finding the fantasy in a modern world has become a hard challenge. I’m not talking about actually going out to Scotland and look endlessly for a monster in a large lake. What I’m referring to is simply keeping the idea of a Loch Ness monster more of an interesting myth that we can look to. I blame current technology and the over abundance of science. Yeah, I know that we need to continue to make scientific studies for the benefit of the human race, but what I find that makes life more interesting are the more mythological elements that are more up in the air then anything. Could something like the Loch Ness monster be real? Probably not, but I’d rather like to be the one to think there might be a little magic left for an unknown creature.
Leprechauns, Santa Claus, Bigfoot…all of this and more have amazing stories that give life that little extra sense of fantasy that makes us more mysterious. Why do we need to try to find real evidence? Maybe all of this doesn’t want to be found. That is certainly a case for the trolls in Norway. Done in the style of a found footage movie is a very entertaining fantasy, Trollhunter.
We follow a couple of college students in Norway, Thomas, Johanna, and Kalle who are in the middle of developing a documentary about a suspected bear poacher who may be taking down one too many grizzlies. They figure that the hunter Hans could have not faked the bear tracks and pursue him. For several days, they follow him, even taking one boat to another island, where they end up in the woods. The woods are a protected region, but the camera crew follows in anyway to see what the fuss is about. The first thing they encounter is Hans running yelling “TROLL!”
A large troll charges after the crew and they end up into a deeper area, where Hans has prepared traps. They escape and find out that Hans is actually a hunter of Trolls. His jobs is to keep the creatures a secret and to kill the ones that come too close to populated areas. Though he’s forbidden to talk to the press, Hans is sick of the bad job condition and allows the college crew to film everything. They encounter many trolls from over a bridge with goat bait to trolls as large as mountains in the snowiest of Norway.
I had seen this film twice on blu ray, and third had only made it better. The problem with found footage films is that very few of them have rewatch value. Trollhunter has plenty to offer. First glace, it’s actually a found footage movie that’s not horror. Based. There are plenty of jump scares, but I would place this into the urban fantasy genre. And as fantasies go, it’s great. Not one troll looks the same. I love how this movie’s world makes it clear that like animals, there are many kinds of these giants. Like Pacific Rim, going the extra mile to make many monsters gives the fantasy aspect more credit.
I think the other reason I like this is because the action is very intense. This is a 3D blockbuster without the annoying 3D. Each time they run to the monsters, you feel like you're shaking in fear with the camera crew. When your running from the monsters, you get a good glance at their incredible height and want to run away from them. The found footage style works better here then most of the horror films it’s attached to.
I’ll give this five giant trolls out of five. Trollhunter is an exciting foreign film that needs no American remake. I don’t see how they could improve this. The Norwegian setting is perfect for the subject of trolls, and the fact that the camera crew following the action is very amateurish makes it feel more raw and scary. This is the magic in the world I wanted to find that can still be kept hidden.