Tuesday, April 5, 2011
TROLLJEGEREN (THE TROLL HUNTER) 2010
Directed by Andre Ovredal
Otto Jespersen - Trolljegeren/Hans
Glenn Erland Tosterud - Tomas
Tomas Alf Larsen - Kalle
A group of students investigate a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.
Trolljegeren was one of those films that I heard about last year that was playing at film festivals with Rare Exports and Black Death. All three were getting good write ups by reviewers and all three piqued my interest all for different reason. With Trolljegeren it was because it had monsters in it, and I'm a sucker for monster movies and have been for a long time. So did the movie quench my thirst for monsters?
I got my fill of monsters with this one. And all are big. While I'm no expert on fairy tales and legends from Norway, this movie helps explain the basics of those legends and plausibly so with a modern day twist to them. Even the basics from nursery tales comes into play at points in the movie and usually in very funny ways (Three Billy Goats Gruff is easily recognizable, and to me is the best part in the whole movie). The digital effects are amazing to look at in most scenes when the trolls show up, even though at points the quality of those CG effects drops but not enough to truly take you out of the movie. You can always tell the trolls have weight and mass to them and can do massive damage. Even the sounds the trolls make are massive sounding and each of the four have different voices which helps them become their own entity. One thing I applaud director Andre Ovredal for is showing each and every troll full on and not just giving glimpses or teases of them.
The acting I was quite pleased with as well due to each of the main actors are believable in their roles. Otto Jespersen though is easily the best actor though as he plays his character, Hans, with droll and a matter-of-fact attitude which helps his character seem more plausible as tired and couldn't give a damn, as not once in the movie does he crack a smile. The rest of the characters are well acted as well, but are outshined by Jespersen. The only actor that I really didn't like was Tomas Alf Larsen's Kalle. It could be because he was the one character that always complaining, but more than anything it was due to that his character seemed the least developed. At least Larsen's character you got to know before he offs this mortal coil, unlike Urmila Berg-Domaas' character who is brought in, giving about five lines then you don't hear from her again really until the end of the movie when she runs away screaming.
Yet my biggest complaint about the movie is it's one of those found footage horror movies. With it this brings the usual staples of that type of movie, including shaking camera while running, odd shots of the ground and sky while other things are happening, and the slow down in story which seems to happen in every one of these movies, and a ending that wasn't really much of a ending. Thankfully though it is one of the better movies of its type, with tongue firmly in cheek and winking at the audience constantly. What would have made this movie amazing if they had filmed it as a narrative instead. Yet what we get is a well thought out film with amazing scenes in it that kept me interested and enjoying myself through the whole thing. If you can find a copy, watch it and enjoy.
Though not shown, the trolls' midnight snack of Tomas Alf Larsen's Kalle.
Folk tales don't quite correspond to reality.
At the end of the final credits, there is a notice in English, claiming that "No trolls were harmed during the making of this movie".