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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD / Blu-ray. Momentum.

Troll HunterWhile the found-footage sub-genre tends to concentrate on intimate horrors – ghosts, psycho killers and such like – it’s interesting to see that the genre is perhaps most effective when covering large scale, FX-driven horrors. Like Cloverfield before it, Troll Hunter takes the intimacy of the hand-held, shaky, frenetic home video format and uses it to tell a story of giant monsters.

The set-up here has three student filmmakers - Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud), Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) and Johanna (Johanna Mørck) – trying to get an interview with Hans (Otto Jesperson), who they think is a bear poacher. But after following him into the woods one night, they discover his real purpose – he’s a government-appointed Troll Hunter, secretly keeping Norway’s troll population under control and exterminating rogue beasts. Tiring of his work, Hans agrees to let the group follow him and film his activities, much to the disquiet of the Troll Security Service, who don’t want the existence of these creatures to be known.

Director André Øvredal has crafted a thoroughly entertaining and unique tale with this movie, taking trolls out of the world of the fairy tale and making them into huge, violent and scary creatures, and for the most part, they are well-executed monsters, with only the odd dodgy effect jarring the viewer out of the illusion. The film itself is not quite as action-packed as some critics have suggested, but moves at a steady pace with some exhilarating action scenes and plenty of humour, making for a genuinely fun romp with the odd unexpected moment of visual beauty thrown in as well.

There are downsides to the project - as with most found-footage films, the shaking camera can become annoying, and for student filmmakers, our heroes are pretty incompetent, regularly getting themselves in shot – essential for character identification in the feature film of course, but bad documentary film-making! What’s more, the film crew are a bunch of pretty undeveloped characters – when one meets a sticky end, it’s hard to give a damn (and notably, his friends seem to get over it pretty quickly too).

But, while perhaps not quite as good as some people have suggested, Troll Hunter is still tremendous fun, with a genuinely fresh story and completely original monsters. It’s well worth checking out.






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