Sunday, October 16, 2011
Troll Hunter Review
When it comes to giant monster movies, I'm your guy. I've seen them all, from the all-star Cloverfield, to the awful Deep Rising. The found footage genre, (started by the legendary Blair Witch Project) has recently become more used, such as in this last year's Paranormal Activity 2 and this year's Apollo 18. I myself have only seen one movie in that genre, Cloverfield. (Until now of course.) The shaky cam puts off a lot of people, but I find it supremely engaging.
Troll Hunter is a rather unknown film in the States. It was made in Norway, and it wasn't dubbed English. This little gem was kinda random and came out of the blue. (Giant trolls? Sounded like something the Syfy channel would air.) This little gem found its way onto Netflix Instantly, and I heard it being compared to the great Cloverfield. The last low budget independent film I saw was last year's MONSTERS. I wasn't fond of MONSTERS. (The DVD cover says it's "the greatest monster movie of the millennium," HA.) But I'm always open to these films, and Troll Hunter seemed interesting and unique. I'll tell you what I thought in the coming paragraphs.
The film follows three college students as they attempt to make a documentary about a supposed bear poacher, Hans. It turns out they got more than what they bargained for. When the students followed the supposed poacher into a forest, a roar is heard, from something much bigger than any bear. Hans runs back, shouting "Troll!" There are trolls in the area, and the students want to film Hans and his hunt against the beasts.
So as you can see, this film is a rather different one. The film literally jumps into the action right away, putting you in the car with characters you have no clue about. It's kinda confusing in the beginning, cause it's hard to grasp what's happening. You begin to understand as it goes on, and also in your head decide what's going on, cause not everything is fully explained. The characters are not really fleshed out at all, you don't understand who they are or anything of that sort. Then again, as a found footage film, it would make sense that we don't know the details, realism and and all. Then again, when we watch a film, we expect to know the characters a bit, were they good people doing a film for good purposes, doing it for adventure, or making it for a sinister purpose? I expect to know about that. Then again, that would be taking the realism out of it, wouldn't it be? See how hard it is to rate a movie like this? It really tests one's reviewing skills.
I really like how all the actors are all unknown, like with Cloverfield. (Except this time, they are really unknown.) A lot of modern films today sometimes bank it on the lead actor then the actual story. The actors in this film do a good job at making this whole thing seem "real," especially Hans, the Troll Hunter, who was the highlight. These little unknown films shine in that they have amazing stories without having to worry about marketing. (A really good film is Hunter Prey, which is Instantly on Netflix, check it out.) This film is very fast-paced, and has a very interesting story within the story.
Of course, the reason why we're (or at least me) are going to watch this film are to see the monsters, (or in this case, Trolls) in action. I was surprised that the term Trolls was used, I always thought these things were tiny goblin-like creatures. With that said, some of them looked a bit too goofy to be taken seriously, though some did look menacing. (The one with three heads had a unique look.) They have that "grouchy" look. The effects truly surprised me, with not a big budget, the effects are AMAZING. On par with the likes of Cloverfield. Speaking of that, this film does feel like Cloverfield in a forest, though that's a good thing. It has a very interesting backstory, and doesn't get dull.
Overall, Troll Hunter is a gem you do not want to miss. If you liked Cloverfield or the Blair Witch Project, (I haven't seen the ladder, but the reviews say it's similar) you will greatly enjoy this film. It has some very tense scenes. (The one with the goat on the bridge was pretty darn intense.) The only thing I didn't like was the ending, it didn't have closure. (I know these type of films have those type of endings, but this one really felt too "open.") Watch Troll Hunter instead of MONSTERS, trust me.