For some time now I’ve had this romantic idea of moving to Norway or Sweden. I’ve even told my boyfriend that when we get married I would like to honeymoon in Sweden, one week in Stockholm and one week in the mountains where we can learn to ski by day and unwind in the jacuzzi with a glass of champagne by night. However, after seeing this film I may have to rethink those plans…
Released in its native Norway in late 2010, Troll Hunter slowly trickled across cinema screens in the rest of the world in 2011. In August 2011, director André Øvredal and star Glenn Erland Tosterud introduced a sneak peek at Empire Presents… BIG SCREEN. Though I was at BIG SCREEN, I was unable to attend the screening as we had already booked tickets to see something else. To be honest, I really didn’t know anything about Troll Hunter until we arrived at BIG SCREEN. After being greeted with a kitted out Land Rover and a Troll Hunter Survival Guide it was difficult not to be interested, though.
THE TRUTH IS OUT
Troll Hunter follows a group of students as they investigate a series of mysterious bear killings in Norway. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, who is revealed to be a troll hunter. The latest film in the found-film documentary style, I really can’t imagine it being filmed any other way.
Blessed with a well written and witty script, what appealed to me the most was how matter-of-fact and, to be quite honest, realistic it was. Hans isn’t your stereotypical Hollywood hero nor is he your Indiana Jones style adventurer: he really looks like he could take on a troll. In part that is down to the fantastic costume and effects teams who nailed his attire and troll-weary Land Rover.
Trolls are embedded in Scandinavian culture and they too aren’t glamourised for added thrills or excitement. They were exactly what I imagined them to look like, including the three heads. They aren’t your Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings style beasties, they are creatures from old Scandinavian stories and appear on screen as a Norwegian director – who presumably grew up hearing these stories – wants them to.
While I did enjoy Troll Hunter greatly, there is one other person who enjoyed it a lot more, my dad. After I got back from BIG SCREEN I told him about it, and for months after he was asking me whether it had been released on DVD yet. When I found out it would be arriving in the UK in January 2012, I pre-ordered it for him. When it finally arrived and he watched it, he left me a voicemail message saying something along the lines of: “TRRROOLLL! Absolutely brilliant. Call me back.” He’s now on the hunt for some UV lights and spikes to make his own Land Rover Defender a bit more battle-hardened like Hans’…
Top image from Alexandre Dulaunoy‘s Flickr photostream.