Having to watch Trollhunter, a 2010 Norweigan dark fantasy/black comedy mockumentary alone, I did not know what to expect from the film. I thought to myself, “Given that the central theme of this film would be about trolls, would other fairytale characters be included?” “Would this be pure CGI or would it be obvious that they used people with prosthetics?” “Would this actually be a scary one or would this be another banal fiasco?”
As I moved on to viewing the film, it caught my interest in an uncanny way. First, I loved how the “found footage” format was utilized because despite the film being fantastical and animated, it displayed some level of rawness to the film. The quirkiness and comical college students who played the main characters also added to the element of reality within the supernatural bounds of the film. Another element I took interest in, is the subtle celebration of Nordic culture and geography. With the footage, the audience can get a taste of the utmost beauty of the Norweigan scenery. Moreover, their national legends include those of trolls because their people actually believed that these creatures do reside in the forests and mountains. This mockumentary is a compelling way to show who they are, where they are from and what they believe in. The animal herds, the power lines, and the speech of the Prime Minister regarding trolls, showcase an ingenious possibility that maybe the government is actually tiptoeing around actual troll control. Additionally, the film reflects how only a minimal number of Norweigans actually involve themselves with religious affirmations.
Another enthralling feature is its magnificent sound editing. The transition from lighthearted dialogue to hearing sudden growls in the background and stalwart footsteps approaching the main characters will put you off your feet. With the use of night vision, it was way scarier than it should have normally been.
With its “found footage” format, one film I can relate this to is the 5 obstructions that was shot in documentary style. Other than that, its fantastical elements can somehow be attributed to that of Holy Motors, where one can not distinguish which reality is real and at the end of the day, you are forced to believe in what you have experienced.
A comment I can give is that it’s crafted with artistry, given it’s a new take on featuring a mythical creature. It may have some cliche, overused elements such as the “bite that didn’t seem to be anything but turns out to be fatal”, the “footage-that-remains-but-the people-who-filmed-it-cannot-be-found-anymore”, the “sudden-traitor-revelation (oops I am a Christian, sorry I didn’t say it before hand now we will all get in trouble)”, these can all discredit the authenticity of the film, however I believe these were all utilized for added entertainment to the audience.
Trollhunter, a bit bizzarre, is still a must watch for people who like to take a comfortable seat with a thick blanket to hold onto when the footsteps are getting faster and the screams of the main characters are getting louder. On your seat, you cross your fingers and hope your favorite character does not get killed off or eaten by the monster.