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Gavin Grades The Movies

Troll Hunter

This movie doesn't come out in theaters (if it comes out around Sacramento at all) until mid-June but you can get it on Comcast now.  That's what I did, but I'm sure it watches a hundred times better on the big screen. Troll Hunter is a modestly budgeted film from Norway that is done as a fake documentary.  It's about a group of college students that need to find a great story for them to shoot their student project on.  At first they think they're doing some investigative journalism into a local bear poacher but it quickly turns into a search for mythic beasts - trolls.  I know, I know...that sounds ridiculously stupid and some of you will continue to think that it is even if you watch it, but it's not that difficult to buy into the premise and have fun with it. Troll Hunter was made by an entirely Norwegian cast and crew so don't expect to see any familiar faces or even hear any familiar words; the entire movie has subtitles.  What I enjoyed about this film so much was that it was perfectly toned.  By that I mean it's done seriously and intensely as if these creatures are real and dangerous, however it knows it's a movie about trolls and stays just tongue & cheek enough to not be too serious.  That's not easy to do when you're a fake documentary that is intended to be thrilling but about a goofy premise.  Some movies do it well like Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield and some do not, like The Last Exorcism. Troll Hunter features some scenes that are really funny but I can't tell if that's intended or just the nature of the mythology surrounding trolls.  Since this was made by Norwegians, I'm guessing it's all actual lore.  Me second guessing them would be like telling a Scotsman he's wrong about the Loch Ness Monster.  But what's great is that the comedy is peppered in with scenes that carry with them some real tension when you come to grip with the danger these creatures pose.  It also does a great job of skirting around a low budget by using existing landmarks as part of the story that make you totally buy the concept (no spoiler alerts but I'll never look at electrical lines the same way again). Troll Hunter is a fantastic and fun concept that executed with great results from a filmmaking team that shows lots of potential.  I can only hope that they put out another film as fun as this soon but someone will take a chance and give them a much higher budget. Troll Hunter (Rated R) Gavin Grade: B+

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05/09/2011 12:56PM
Troll Hunter
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