Set in Norway, the low-budget Troll Hunter is a terrific genre exercise
TROLL HUNTER (Andre Øvredal). Subtitled. Opens Friday (August 19) at the Royal. See listing Rating: NNNN
Troll Hunter might not be the scariest "found footage" film ever made, but what it lacks in thrills it makes up for in brains. This Norwegian import from director Andre Øvredal has amassed quite the cult following before coming to Canada, and it's easy to see why. It's a thinking person's monster movie.
Three college journalism students set out to document a bear-poaching epidemic but instead stumble upon a guy who hunts trolls. The students quickly find out that these creatures are real and very angry.
What sets this film apart from others of this style (like [REC] and Cloverfield) is that Øvredal takes the time to actively explain just how trolls and those who hunt them think and act. He takes an in-depth look at a fantastical world instead of simply going for cheap shocks and discomfiting gimmicks.
The film's a bit of a slow burn, but attention to detail heightens the intensity greatly once the scares finally arrive. Add some lushly filmed scenery and great visual effects for a low-budget film and Troll Hunter becomes one of the best genre exercises of the year.