A movie review of Trollhunter with
Direcow and Kakita
Trollhunter hit Singaporean shores for the first time in conjunction with the Singapore International Film Festival. Released almost a year ago in Norway, this Norwegian film might have not have hit our shores if not for the film festival – so we dropped everything and made sure we caught it, given the amount of online hype we heard about it on Aint It Cool News and io9. Starring Otto Jespersen as Hans, the titular character and Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck and Tomas Alf Larsen as a group of 3 students who were off hunting… Hans (mild spoilers ahead).
Well, Hans isn’t a Troll, but a thoroughly unexpected character: an ex-soldier now charged with the protection (and more often than not) extermination of the indigineous special in the Norway/Scandinavian region.
The three film students stumble onto what at first seems like a hoax or shoddy cover-up, and in their investigations, finally realise that their country is rife with all manner of trolls, and it falls to the amusingly named Troll Security Service to ensure that any incursions are dealt with. And replaced by…. really flimsy excuses.
Filmed in the mockumentary / shaky-cam style first made popular by The Blair Witch Project, those who suffer from severe motion sickness might want to avoid the show. But no worries! Thanks to scientific testing, we have discovered that those who suffer from such ailments can rest assured that you will be more than fine throughout the movie. The directors do very carefully and deftly use the moving camera but only when it’s truly necessary.
Some of you might be wary of spoilers or what not – but if the idea did not give it away I’m not sure if this movie is for you.
It’s a hilarious mix of National Geographic, comedy and surprisingly tense moments. And also surprisingly OMGWTF did they just do that laugh out loud moments. I don’t think I’ve ever seen folklore used so amusingly before.
Haha yes! It’s very much like Rare Exports which I caught too – suddenly these Scandinavian countries seem to be masters of balancing taut, taut tension with huge amounts of fun. I did especially enjoy the Troll Hunting moments and the little tricks the hunter emplys to hunt them, and varied locations the Trolls come from… it’s all very sciency in a good way.
What I really appreciated was the faux scientific jargon they used to explain away most (not all) of the capabilities, weaknesses and physiology of the troll. And any day we can poke fun at bureaucracy and Russians is a win in my book.
All in all, it really is quite a complete movie. Running a total of 103 minutes might make it a little short for some, but shortness is a virtue here. Like I mentioned tension does play a part in the movie, and while nothing was really shockingly scary I just enjoyed them taking me on a ride.
Strangely enough I think it was oddly pithy. Maybe it was the fact that it was filmed mockumentary style, but I think that they managed to squeeze quite a few events into the movie. And we even got to see like… 4 different species of trolls! Just like whale watching!
Better than whale watching, sometimes!
If anything the only thing I disliked was very abrupt way the movie ended. Like all Blair Witch callouts, they seemed to have a very quick cut at the end as the film makers fall foul of random things… but I don’t think it was really needed. All was soon forgotten though, as they cut to the Prime Minister (and he’s the real deal folks!) commit a political gaffe by ‘mentioning’ trolls to the media.
I’m not sure how hard it is for them to deviate from the formula, but I think it wasn’t exactly a failure here, given how they turned it around and added their own special touch to what happens next. It is, convinient as usual, how they ended up with the footage to cut the movie, but I think that’s nitpicking.
Trollhunter isn’t perfect, mind you. But it’s very very fun. It’s constantly hilarious even in the midst of the tension, the action is great, the characters are pretty cool. Everything’s pretty predictable (except for the Trolls, I guess) which is why spoilers aren’t such a bad deal but the how you experience the movie is how the students do – a bit of fear, but a lot of wonder at nature.
Yes. I’m surprised to see how much good fun a stark cast, a simple plot and not exactly great CG can get. Thats what you get with good actors and a surprisingly out there (and yet fun) premise, I guess. While the film crew are relatively forgettable (save for some good lines) I hear Otto Jespersen (Hans) is a pretty well known comedian, and I guess it shows. He really owns the movie.
Hans is badass. He’s so badass.
I love how he fights essentially bloodthirsty giants with … very bizarre implements. And his biggest complaint is the lack of overtime compensation. Awesome.
A lot to love, nothing to hate. Trollhunter won’t win an Oscar or anything, but it’ll win your heart. 8/10.
Haha. As mentioned, it was good, clean (well maybe not so clean. Sometime stinky) fun. 7/10.
Average: 7.5 goat sacrifices /10