I stumbled across this delightful movie Trollhunter a few days ago on Chiller. I saw the title and on a lark set it to record. I had no idea what a refreshing and enjoyable movie I had captured. Trollhunter is a found-footage movie, one of those flicks that like the famous The Blair Witch Project from many years ago, attempts to trick the audience into thinking they are watching just some raw footage from a film crew who might or might not still be around to fill in the gaps. Some folks hate these kinds of movies, I love 'em.
We meet three college kids (Finn, Kalle, and Johanna) who are making a documentary about bear poaching and seek to find a many named Hans who is reputedly one such poacher. They relentlessly follow him as he and his rough and tumble rig rumble across the beautiful Norwegian countryside. They try several times to interview him, but he rebuffs them but they never give up and finally follow him as he pursues his prey, which it turns out is not a bear after all.
The kids discover he's a trollhunter, an employee of the national government, a secretive game warden of sorts who roams the whole of the country dealing with a creature which most folks consider myth, but which it turns out is all too real. There are several types of trolls we learn, some live in forests, some in mountains, and they come in all sorts of sizes, some of immense proportions. They live inside protected areas which are hedged by electrical towers and the government seeks at once to manage the populations, often with cruel means, and keep them a secret from the general populace.
There's an exceedingly droll and dry humor in this tales as Hans eventually accepts the kids and their film as a way perhaps to validate what he does as he's an older man who feels that his years of work haven't been the most satisfying and perhaps (though he never says it) he thinks their film will cause a change, maybe even an improvement in things.
There is some real danger along the way as the intrepid kids follow the dour and resourceful Hans into many a situation which calls upon him to display much physical courage. It his character who holds our attention, a man of real stones who does his job resolutely with a high degree of bravery and professionalism. He admires the trolls, but like any responsible and experienced warden is not overly sentimental about any single one of the species. We learn a lot about Troll habits and whatnot as the movie unfolds.
This is advertised as a comedy, and that's true, but the humor is well camouflaged behind some beautiful vistas and landscapes. Some critics claim the movie spends too much time showcasing the starkly gorgeous Norwegian country, but I found all of it spectacular and it only added to the verisimilitude that a movie like this thrives on to be effective. The special effects for the trolls are outstanding. One down note on the version I saw was that it was dubbed rather badly for a modern film, and I'd love to see it again in the original with subtitles.
Check it out.