Troll Hunter (2010)

Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen

Dir. Andre Ovredal

Are you one of those people who finds it hard to believe in the weirder things in life? Things such as werewolves, vampires, ghouls . . . trolls? If the film Troll Hunter doesn’t convince you once and for all that such things exist then you really are a hard hearted sceptic. The proof is beyond convincing.

Like The Blair Witch Project, Troll Hunter is based on ‘lost camera footage,’ but unlike the Blair Witch Project things actually happen and the Troll Hunter footage is true. Three university students set out to make a film about unauthorised bear shooting and discover a side to Norway they, and most Norwegians, didn’t know exists.

Hans, the troll hunter
Hans, the troll hunter

‘Trolls do not just live in fairy tales,’ says Hans the troll hunter they catch up with. To begin, he’s a recluse, living in a scruffy caravan on various camp sites, but after following him one night they find he isn’t the bear hunter the authorities are looking for, he hunts a different kind of creature entirely.

The film is packed with facts about real trolls: the different species Mountain Trolls and Forest Trolls; the various types – Jotnar, Ringlefinch, Tosserlad, Dovreguben. And we are told how UV sunlight can cause expansive gasses in the troll’s digestive system or over-calcify the bones, both of which cause death, explosively in the former case.

troll hunter 2

Norway is criss-crossed by power lines, some of them forming a loop created to contain the trolls in specified areas. The whole system is managed by the TSS (Troll Security Service), the body is also responsible for following up troll attacks and leaving confusing evidence to suggest bear attacks or other natural phenomena.

troll hunter 6

It’s easy to watch Troll Hunter and be fooled into thinking this is an elaborate hoax, a cleverly filmed drama made to look like a mock documentary, but the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is filmed admitting the existence of trolls. A politician’s word, filmed footage, what more proof do you need.

Fascinating and funny, very inventive with an acute attention to detail and seriously spellbinding moments of suspense, Troll Hunter works as a piece of fiction as well as a documentation of the unexplained that shares our world. My conclusions after watching the film a second time was to be on my guard next time I’m wandering around Whinlatter Forest, just in case the boggarts are bigger than we first thought!

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