Directed by Andre Øvredal
Written by André Øvredal and Håvard S. Johansen
The 1980 Italian exploitation film Cannibal Holocaust, directed by Ruggero Deodato, broke traditional cinematic conventions while creating major controversy following its release. Although camcorders, cell phones, and the like hadn’t been invented yet, the main character, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, uses a 16mm Bolex camera to much the same effect. But it wasn’t until 1999 that The Blair Witch Project shattered box office records for independent films, and with that, helped launch a new sub-genre of horror into the mainstream. Ever since, there have been a
The latest venture into the realm of the mockumentary, Tollhunter, marks the sophomore effort for director Andre Øvredal, who had previously co-directed the psychological thriller Future Murder (2000). The high-concept mock-doc follows three students as they discover Norway’s biggest conspiracy: a government-run effort to keep the country’s troll population secret. Already a huge hit in Europe, Trollhunter has been making the rounds at the North American film festivals ever since its secret screening at Fantastic Fest last fall. The film has received an overwhelming positive response from critics and audiences alike, and with good reason. Trollhunter is a solid entry into the found footage genre, but it is also unfairly criticized for being something it never intended on being – scary. Trollhunter chooses to emphasize adventure and humour over horror, making it a gentle and surprisingly touching welcome in a genre usually piled with blood and gore.
Trollhunter works on a number of levels: fairytale, fantasy, supernatural adventure, political satire, workplace comedy, but the most immediately satisfying characteristic is Ovredal’s take on
By the end, Trollhunter slowly unravels a backstory that adds a tragic dimension to the picture. The trolls are slowly dwindling in numbers, killed off by man’s greed. After a certain point you realize it’s simply another example of how the monster is us.
Successful on multiple levels but one: Trollhunter suffers from a seemingly rushed ending. Still, with its brisk pacing, charismatic cast, beautiful locales, creature design and unique premise, Trollhunter comes highly recommend, before Hollywood tries to remake it.