Synopsis – A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter – Trollhunter.
Director – André Øvredal
Released – 2010
For fans of – The Ritual, Apollo 18, The Mist
Following the success of The Blair Witch Project, every man and his dog was looking for the next great found footage movie that would return huge profits from a relatively small budget, most of which were cliche-filled, badly acted and entirely uninspired, though every so often a movie came along that tried something unique or broke away from the usual mould of a group of people investigating a supposedly haunted location only for things to go to hell in a hand basket, Trollhunter is one such movie, taking inspiration from the wonderfully complex Norwegian folklore to craft an interesting story revolving around a documentary crew in Norway who travels into the mountains to investigate what’s mysteriously killing bears there only to find that it’s actually the work of trolls and how they have been kept secret by the government for hundreds of years.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that Trollhunter doesn’t share some of the same plot beats as other found-footage movies of the same period, namely the group of friends who come across more than they anticipated, people not putting down the camera when they really should be running and more than a couple of jump-scares, or that the acting is going to be the best you’ll ever see, however, Trollhunter was able to overcome these elements by embracing the silliness rather than shotting for straight-faced horror.
A group of teens find out that trolls are real and governments have been hiding this for centuries. And as scary as a three-headed giant chasing someone through the woods might be, the movie works better as an adventure and I’m glad that the makers realized this as I found the decision to move away from horror and embrace the action enabled the plot to turn the absurdities of the plot into something surprising. This also helped the story’s progression despite its simplicity and characters with minimal development.
Overall, Trollhunter might not be the scariest found footage you’ll ever see, in fact, the movie shouldn’t be thought of as a horror at all, but rather an action-adventure with horror elements, however, this shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing given how exciting the plot becomes and how well the makers do to turn a basic story and under-developed characters into something unique and memorable.