Tuesday, November 15, 2011


No, I am not about to discuss the brilliant(ly awful) 80s movie, Troll, starring my purple buffalo-hunting beau, Noah Hathaway. Instead, I'm going to review the super awesome Norwegian movie, TrollHunter. I may be a bit biased about this movie, although I don't think that should diminish anyone else's enthusiasm for it. You see, I took Norwegian during my last semester of college. Hvorfor, you ask? Because it seemed like a funny thing to do. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, there are many students with Scandinavian backgrounds, so many that the school has an entire Scandinavian Studies Department. I hung out with several people of recent Scandinavian decent (like, they had really Scandinavian names and spoke their native languages when I asked), and the kookiness/attractiveness of the languages and people led me to Norsk. The class was filled with other like-minded oddballs, and many a week would end with a wacked-out party involving Norwegian hard liquor and pop songs. This one in particular, which our TA made us learn:

What is this crap video?

TrollHunter (I'm not sure if I'm supposed to separate the words or not. The DVD box cover showed the title in a variety of formations) steals from the (at the time revolutionary) Blair Witch format, when a group of college students heads out to make a documentary about a bunch of bear (bjorn) deaths happening around Norway. (Yes, this is the type of thing on which Norwegians report. I so wish I had the hilarious news report our Norwegian TA shared with us where the reporter changed positions after each story, sometimes in a lounge chair, sometimes in front of a roaring fire. Who wouldn't want to visit Norway after watching that?) But instead of finding a bear killer, guess what they find... Troll Hunter!!! The troll hunter himself is so awesomely committed, both the character and the actor, to the seriousness of the troll hunting situation. The three college students (Two guys and a gal. Blair Witch again!) follow him on what they think is a ridiculous hunt, until they SEE their first troll! And let me tell you, that troll is awesome. I LOVE the trolls in this movie. They are cartoony in their weirdness but so real in the way they fit into the film and their environment. Really inventive.

TrollHunter is a movie that could only have been made in Norway. They have all sorts of troll lore references that were not a part of my childhood but were obviously very prominent in the Norwegian characters' fairy tales, such as trolls being able to sniff out Christians (I was floored by how readily the main characters were all, "No, of course we don't believe in God." Is that how it is in Norway?). As the film progresses, and the students discover trolls are real, they start to refer to the troll hunter as a national hero. Very cool. He was the only one who could do his job. Kind of like Buffy! But hairier and in Norwegian. The film itself is suspenseful, a little scary, and all around fascinating. I plan to watch it again when it comes back in at my library. Mostly because I want to look at the trolls some more. There is one that is as big as a mountain! And it totally looks like it!

The lost footage aspect (yes, they did that just like in Blair Witch) was hokey and not quite as believable as B.W. (there were too many camera views for only one camera to be at play), but if you can forgive that (which you can because, geez, it's just a movie) then this movie is pure awesomeness. I give TrollHunter five out of five troll bogeys!


Michelle said...

At first, when my husband told me he had rented a film called Troll Hunters, I laughed because I thought he was joking...and then I thought of people hunting those little smiley troll dolls with standing up hair that were super popular way back when.

Julie H said...

Now THAT would be a terrifying movie!