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Troll Hunter (DVD)

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Genre: Horror / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Andre Ovredal / Actors: Knut Nærum, Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morck, Tomas Alf Larsen ... / DVD released 2012-01-09 at Momentum Pictures Home Ent / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      28.02.2013 13:03
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      Foreign films rock!

      Star - Trolls!
      Genre - World Cinema
      County - Norway (subtitles)
      Certificate - PG 13
      Run Time - 103 minutes
      Blockbusters - £2.00 per night rental
      Amazon - £5.00 DVD (£6.75 Blue Ray)
      ------------------------------------------------


      ....And the winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film is .....Trollhunter!!!!! But, of course, it wasn't, some wordy and seriously high tar, smoke fogged, brandy sipping French verbal diarrhea preferred, as is always the case for the category The Academy hate. One day a genuinely original movie like director André Øvredal's fiendishly dry and funny dark fantasy will win an Oscar to gasps in the auditorium. But as yet there is no sign of that sense of levity in Hollywood. Because of that mainstream disapproval of subtitled films you guys never get to see some of the coolest films ever made. You really need to go rent this movie. It's all the proof you need Hollywood is behind the curve on shooting fun and original movies.

      Shot in wobbly camera 'mockumentry' style, the mission of André Øvredal is to gently send up Norwegian folklore and fairytale by fiendishly shifting it to the modern day. 'Trollhunter' is another found footage affair and drawing from the hidden menace of Gareth Evans low budget treat 'Monster' meets the don't go down to the woods anxiety of Blair Witch with a bit of Cloverland thrown in. The films cast is mostly made up of Norwegian comedians and bit part actors and so adding a further surreal layer alongside the absurdity of trolls being alive and well in 201l and, apparently, subject to Norwegian ASBO's. You will not have seen anything like this guys.



      = = = Cast = = =

      Otto Jespersen ... Hans, trolljegeren
      Glenn Erland Tosterud ... Thomas
      Johanna Mørck ... Johanna
      Tomas Alf Larsen ... Kalle
      Urmila Berg-Domaas ... Malica
      Hans Morten Hansen ... Finn Haugen



      === The Plot===

      A TV station are investigating some found footage to authenticate what looks like the documentation of the existence of real life trolls in Norway's mountains and forests.

      We flashback 12 days....


      Its late autumn and Film students Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud) and Johanna (Johanna Mørck) and cameraman Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) are heading into the smoky Norwegian forests that edge the beautiful fjords to investigate a suspected polar bear poacher. But the local hunters and country folk are not having any of it and not convinced, the tracks and style of kill not consistent with any kind of bear they have seen in the woods.

      The students only clue so far is the disheveled and grumpy Hans (Otto Jespersen), who they decide to follow in James rusting Volkswagen, the kids discovering Hans's lives in a decrepit caravan that smells rather horrible. The students confront him on their suspicions but he tells them to do one.....the VW then following his Land Rover deep into the foreboding forests as night falls, where they see strange pulsing lights and smell that same honk from the caravan, nearly coming a cropper when something in the woods that Hans was trying to snare chases after them and tags Thomas, drawing blood with claw like marks, consistent with a bear but not sounding anything like one

      After fleeing in Hans Land Rover, leaving Thomas's VW nonchalantly flipped over and wrecked by whatever that was back there, Hans agrees to own up to what is going on, the student incredulous with the news that they have just been attacked by a troll. Hans wants to tell his story to the world as Norway's only Trollhunter as he is unhappy with 'pay & conditions' and doesn't feel respected in the vital role he plays, letting the naïve kids document what they are about to see and experience as a Trollhunter.

      The next day the moods is mocking as they set out to see their first Troll, the kids still not sure about this guy but willing to agree to his conditions. If trolls are real then this will be one hell of a student film. But a government official with a clipboard (Hans Morten Hansen) that seems to be Hans's manager is not happy with the camera and the students being there and warned in no uncertain fashion that they are not welcome.

      Rule number one is you must smear what Hans calls 'Troll gunge' all over so to smell like the trolls, and rule number two is you must not believe in God - the Christian one - as the trolls can smell the blood of Christian man, of course! And they will quickly need to adhere to those rules as when they return to the forest at night with Hans, strange roaring noises and trees being violently snapped back suggest there is indeed something very big and not human in the forest coming to get them, Hans ultraviolet gun all that stand between them and troll lunch.



      ---The Result---

      Yes the Asian Extreme (Japan/Korea) genre has done this type of surrealism before but, like I said, you won't have seen anything like Trollhunter in European cinema. This is a real treat. Yes, it is another found footage movie but that sets it up perfectly to put the trolls in that wonderfully silly context. What a great idea to have a jobs worth park ranger come exterminator controlling the whole of the Norwegian troll population so no humans never get to meet them.

      The trolls are deliberately absurd on screen with delicious effects to make you laugh even more and they look like they would make fun pets on a sink estate near you, looking remarkably like the Rolling Stones. The cast are fabulous to; given that most of the dialogue is improvised and a surprising ring of truth about its unsettling humor. What would you do if Trolls are real? America, of course, would have blown them up with drones after seeing them on satellite images as potential terrorists.

      If the trolls are the stars the beautiful, mysterious and enchanting Norwegian scenery gets best supporting Oscar, a place I would love to visit. Dry humour is the order of the day here and some real belly laughs to be had, none more so than an unexpected burst of 'I have a friend in Jesus'. Alas, an American remake of this is already underway after the success of the remake of 'Let Me In' and 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', from this part of the world, and will no doubt water down some of that dry humor that makes this work so well, those drones called into to blow up the trolls.


      ---Ratings---

      Imdb.com - 7.010.0 (31,567 votes)
      Metacritc.com - 61% critic's approval rating
      Rottentomatos.com -82% critic's approval rating


      -----Special Features---

      -Set Up-

      Dubbed option

      -Deleted Scenes-

      Quite a few

      -Improv-

      A lot of the film is improvised dialogue

      -Behind the Scenes-

      -Bloopers-

      Quite a few but not that funny in Norwegian.

      -Photos-

      -Extended Scenes-

      -Visual Effects-

      Most of the budget was spent on the Troll effects, as you would expect.




      = = = Critics = = =

      Daily Telegraph -'Øvredal's movie has wittier ideas up its sleeve than the average "mock-doc" shocker, a genre it transcends through sheer originality'.

      Move Crypt -'... this one is well worth the troll hunt to find'.

      Film4 -'Delightfully silly and likely to etch the battle-cry of "troll!" into audiences' minds long after its end'.
      Scotsman -'There's fun to be had if you're willing to surrender to it'.

      The LA Times -'This found-film sci-fi trolls-on-the-loose story works well enough as a kind of tongue-in-cheek comedy spoofing films of this kind and the sheer idiocy behind these kinds of conspiracy theories'.

      Birmingham Mail -'Richly deserves an audience'.

      = = = = = = = = =

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      • More +
        08.10.2012 09:25
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        A not bad, quirky Norwegian film that is worth a watch...

        Troll Hunter is one of the latest entries in the "Lost Footage" genre that attempts to be a kind of docu-drama by showing the collected video-tapes of a group of college students as they follow around, what they at first believe to be, an illegal bear poacher.

        There have been a series of deaths at the hands of bears all across the country in Norway. Local hunters are p***ed off because someone is stealing their kills and going about without a hunters permit so a group of students decide to try and film him and discover his story. But they quickly realise they have bitten off more than they can chew when they realise he is part of a National cover-up and that really he is hunting Trolls who have broken out of their territory and are causing mayhem!

        This is an odd film that sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. The whole "lost footage" idea HAS been kind of done to death to the point that even {rec} has started to abandon it and if you are looking for something as fast-paced as those films, think again as this can be a bit slow in places. But it is a lot of fun....

        The Trolls are cleverly rendered but kind of look a bit fake when put up against the natural landscapes of Norway but I do like the way that fairy tale lore is given a modern interpretation with scenes such as the one where the group hunt Trolls under a bridge and use three Blly Goats as bait!

        Did I like this? Strangely yes, though thee were times when I thought it was all kind of going to fall flat on its face! Is it different? Yes, and it really does seem to work as a kind of novelty.

        I paid £5 for this in Asda and that is about all it is worth. It is definitely worth a watch but don't go paying over the odds for this which is, when all is said and done, an odd and quirky foreign language film!

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          09.04.2012 19:56
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          One of the most original movies you will ever see

          Troll Hunter is another one of those lost footage films that are so popular at the moment but what makes this one so different is that is a Norwegian film. Now I'm pretty sure that I have never seen a Norwegian film before but for my first Troll Hunter was a pretty good place to start.

          ===== The plot =====

          The film follows three young documentary film makers from the university who are out to make a documentary on bear attacks which are happening in the Norwegian countryside. In the course of interviewing various officials and bear hunters they hear of a man who is always spotted at the scenes of the attacks who no one seems to recognize. As bear hunting is strictly regulated by the state the young filmmakers decide to find this man and follow him to see what exactly he is up to.

          After a bit of a cat and mouse chase with the mystery man they finally find him in some woods where he warns them to run as he is being chased by a Troll. At first disbelieving they hear his story and soon begin to realise he is telling the truth about Trolls from childhood stories being real. The man tells them he works for the state and is the only Troll hunter in Norway and he will allow them to film him in the course of his work as he is fed up of having to keep the existence of Trolls a secret.

          ===== My opinion =====

          I am not sure what possessed me to buy this DVD. Normally I am not big on buying DVD's to begin with and I usually just download films to watch but I had heard a lot of good things about this film and knew that it had been a hit on the festival circuit so I wanted to own it and see what all the fuss was about.

          The idea of Trolls and a Troll hunter is pretty ludicrous but the fact the film is in a foreign language and the whole lost footage way of it being filmed does give it an air of superiority over other movies which have a silly premise to them. The actual film is a mix of comedy, horror and sci-fi but it doesn't ever feel as ridiculous as it sounds and this is probably due to both the acting and most definitely the direction.

          It isn't a spoiler as it comes up on screen right at the beginning that the movie is the found footage of a lost group of documentary film makers so we spend the movie finding out what happens to the group in the course of the filming. The 'lost footage' is edited in chronological order so we get to see the group at the beginning and then follow them on their journey discovering the Trolls. The Trolls appear pretty quickly in the movie and are pretty spectacular. There are different kinds of Trolls and some look better than others but most of the special effects wouldn't look out of place in a big budget Hollywood movie.

          The shaky camera work really does add to the atmosphere of the movie and I did find myself being really drawn into the film and the storyline. The only thing was that although 99% of the film was shown through the camera work of the documentary film makers there was the odd long distant camera shot which I did find a little jarring and it did pull me out of the film when it happened.
          The Norwegian scenery plays a big part in the movie and it is absolutely gorgeous and quite a few times I found myself looking at that more than the movie as it looked stunning and is now somewhere I would like to visit.

          Although it is described as being a mix of horror, comedy and sci-fi it wasn't particularly scary. There were a couple of scenes in the film which did get my heart rate pounding but it isn't the type of film that will have you hiding behind your sofa.
          The comedy worked much better and although I am sure that I missed a lot of the jokes due to the translations I did find myself warming to the whole group and there were a few chuckles to be had. To me the film was much more sci-fi than anything else and it worked best at this. There was a slight thriller element with the Norwegian state being involved but this didn't really work for me and could have been left out.
          Probably the most annoying thing for me was the ending when we find out what happened to the film makers. This left me with more questions than answers and I did find that that to be annoying.
          The film also dragged a little towards the end and I feel that it could have been perhaps just 10 minutes shorter just because the film had a really good flow to it throughout but I did find myself getting a little antsy towards the end of it.

          There was a surprising amount of talking during the film but I didn't find myself losing concentration having to read them. I'm not sure how good a job they did with the translation as some of the sentences didn't really make an awful lot of sense and I did comment more than once that there was no way that could possibly be what they were saying. It just sounded like they were probably translating the audio literally and missing out on the subtleties which are important when translating a foreign language.

          Overall Troll Hunter was an interesting little movie and one that I am glad I watched. It is a different kind of film and completely in a category of its own. It is nowhere near as silly as it sounds and actually I found myself to be interested in hearing all about Trolls and their place in the history of Norway.
          It wasn't perfect but then again no film is and everything is subjective. Just because I didn't particularly like the ending it doesn't mean that someone else won't think it was the ideal way to end the film.
          For me the positives far outweighed the negatives and I found myself thinking about the film well after I finished watching it and I feel that I probably need to watch it again. As I said it is completely original and I guarantee you will never have seen a film like it before.

          ===== DVD Extras =====

          The DVD has a decent selection of extras on it including deleted scenes which although don't add much to the story are interesting to see.
          There is some information of the special effects which I enjoyed watching as this is one of the strongest parts of the film and I was especially interested to see that the Trolls were based on the old drawings of Trolls in Norwegian folk law.
          Other features include the trailer, a behind the scenes featurette, photo galleries and a blooper reel.

          ===== Awards ======

          The movie won the award for best international film at the American Saturn awards.
          It was nominated for best horror movie at The Empire Awards. Nominated for the best foreign language film at the Fangora awards.
          It also won and was nominated for a slew of awards at various Norwegian award ceremonies.

          ===== Runtime and classification ======

          The film runs for 99 minutes (but felt longer) and is classified as a 15 in the UK and Ireland.

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