Troll Hunter generated a lot of buzz when it was being screened across North America. For an independent Norwegian horror film, it’s becoming very popular. I finally had a chance to see it and I was really impressed.
The plot is centred around three students from Volda College in Norway doing a documentary about people who are hunting bears. Without giving too much away, they stumble across a man they believe is hunting the bears, but instead is - you guessed it - hunting trolls. It’s fairly straight-forward beyond that point, but it’s done very successfully.
The film is shot in the style of Cloverfield or The Blair With Project, where one of the characters carries a video camera the entire time, following around other characters and running away from whatever is chasing them. This is all well and good because this time around it’s an HD video camera and the quality of the film is outstanding. The Blu-ray I watched was great and even though there were a lot of shots where the students were running through a dark field, I never felt overly confused or disoriented by the camera work. It was largely shot on some sort of steady cam rig that kept the picture from being too shaky.
I also have to commend the special effects in this film. It could have easily gone the route of Blair Witch, and not show anything at all the entire time. It was definitely more revealing than Cloverfield, and at times felt like District 9 with the pacing and ability to actually stand on its own two feet with the development of computer-generated creatures. I think there’s an assumption that CG outside of North America is severely lacking, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Honestly, I really liked this film. I don’t like horror films, but it didn’t come across as one. There really aren’t too many moments that leave you in anticipation, waiting for something to happen. It picks up right at the beginning, and you’re along for the ride the rest of the way. I recommend it highly. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a foreign film that I really appreciated, so it was good to finally see one again.