Sometimes you stumble upon a film and cave in to curiosity and be pleasantly surprised. “Trollhunter,” a foreign film hailing from Norway and written and directed by André Øvredal, is such a gem. Starring a bunch of actors you most likely will not be familiar with (short of Hans Morten Hansen, “Finn” in the movie, who holds the current world record for the longest stand-up comedic performance), this mockumentary-style film is a real blast.
If you were one of those who saw “The Blair Witch Project” and felt let down because the villain never made an appearance, despite the unique filmography and tense acting for which the film was known for, then “Trollhunter” will satisfy your craving for the CGI. Yep, you will see trolls. They will be hunted, and they are filmed in that shaky self-shot, hand-held camera style.
What makes this film a romp is that for all the horror, it recognizes the silliness of the premise. A group of student filmmakers goes to investigate a series of bear killings in the Norwegian countryside and make friends with a local hunter named Hans. After a bit of convincing, the hunter agrees to allow the students to come along on one of his hunts.
Once the hunt begins, the students are quickly indoctrinated into the TSS (the Troll Security Service), a secret government-run program created to keep the public at large unaware of this huge problem (silly, huh?). Hans informs the group that he has been assigned to take down several of the trolls that have escaped their territory.
When Hans suits up for his more intimate battles, he dons gear that makes him look like the shabbiest of Iron Men, complete with a cast iron bucket head. And the silliness continues with takes on traditional folklore — blood of an Englishman, anybody? In its own odd way, the film makes its nod to the Iron Man films, including the ending that opens the door to public awareness.
Yet, despite the humor, there is still a decent amount of horror that reminds us of the threat a 60-foot, tree-stump-wielding-monster is capable of. Even the process of being turned to stone can have explosive results.
There is a lot of running around and screaming. There are a lot of trolls turning to stone. There are a fair number of vehicles tossed about. And a fair amount of laughs to boot.
If you’re looking for a simple ride for laughs and suspense that has some teeth, this foreign film has a bite worth taking. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime today.
To reach Brian Fitz-Gerald e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.