movie film review | chris tookey

TrollHunter/ Trolljegeren

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  TrollHunter/ Trolljegeren Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
6.21 /10
Otto Jespersen , Glenn Erland Tosterud, Hans Morten Hansen
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Directed by: Andre Ovredal
Written by: Andre Ovredal

Released: 2010
Origin: Norway
Colour: C
Length: 103

MIXED Reviews

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It’s no wonder indie filmmakers are drawn to using the Blair Witch/Cloverfield-style “found footage” style for horror movies. The format covers a lot of sins: mediocre production values, weak exposition, cheap special effects, etc. Since the movies are supposed to look amateurish and formless, filmmakers can get away with a lot of ugly-looking flab in the setup. Then, in the actual horror sequences, the caught-on-the-fly style can make the fantastical look more real, and thus more astonishing... The trolls are the best part of Troll Hunter; they’re funny and creepy, and it’s clever the way our heroes try to bait them by putting three billygoats on top of a bridge, or by playing gospel music to fool the trolls into believing they have the blood of Christian men. But here’s what’s not so good in Troll Hunter: the actual troll hunting. A good hour-plus of this movie is dedicated to short shots of the Norwegian landscape as seen from a moving vehicle, and while the countryside is beautiful, the cinematography isn’t. (Because, y’know… “found footage.”) Almost lost in all the shaky-cam shots of trees and roads is a funny performance by Jespersen, playing a man who takes his responsibilities seriously, but still yearns for reinforcements. He’s a star who deserves a real movie, not just the occasional sharp line between scene after scene of young people driving.
(Noel Murray, The Onion)
It was an effective choice to shoot these majestic creatures verite-style, with a jittery camera, but Trollhunter, unfortunately, is such an under-imagined knockoff of The Blair Witch Project that whenever the trolls aren't on screen, it verges on tedium.
(Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)
A lot of Trollhunter - but not enough - is funny. I imagine the best way to see the movie would be the way it was presented at Sundance, at a "secret" midnight screening at which the capacity audience allegedly has no idea what it is about to see.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
What Trollhunter isn't is particularly scary, but in its defense, it's not trying to be.
(Ty Burr, Boston Globe)
While the troll encounters are well done, and offer their own sense of escalating drama, there is little in between them to build a cohesive or engaging story.
(Jeremiah White, Culture Blues)
It’s a crafty motion picture with ingenious visual effects and a healthy sense of humor, but it overstays its welcome, looking to stretch a thin concept to an unsteady feature length running time, losing its fresh appeal and sensation of surprise in the process... Ovredal is unable to sustain the pace of the picture past the hour mark, with a few extended expositional encounters feeling more like padding than essential storytelling. However, in the director’s favor is the magnificent Norwegian countryside, with ominous forests and snow-blanketed mountains forming a beautiful battlefield, gifting the film an evocative sense of environment to go along with its gritty display of darkly comic fantasy. A few flaws keep Trollhunter from realizing greatness, but it’s a spry enough to slog through a few sluggish spells, and the eye candy here can’t be beat. If there’s a film ripe for an American remake, it’s this one, offering a clever director a chance to generate some demented fun. Anyone know what Terry Gilliam has been up to lately?
(Brian Orndorf,
Andre Ovredal's documentary style creature-feature is a lot of fun, thanks to some terrific special effects and a knowing script that cleverly riffs on existing troll mythology; however, it is slightly too long and suffers from a frustrating lack of character development.
(Matthew Turner, ViewLondon)

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