Three Billy Goats Gruff: A Movie Review of Trollhunter (2010)

Given its title, I was expecting this film to start in such a high note or at least open with an intense action scene wherein our protagonist is being chased down by an enormous troll. I also thought it was going to be an action-adventure film with a mortal hero that hunts overpowered trolls with his sidekicks. Soon after realizing that it is a “found footage” documentary type of film, I got disappointed for I am not a fan of those types of movie. I like how they add a more realistic and intimate touch to the stories that they tell. However, I am not too fond of the first person point-of-view and the film qualities that come along with it. Going back to the movie, the opening scenes gave me the chance to immerse myself into it. They gave a quite dark and serious tone that makes you feel that something big is about to unfold. The footage of the interviews made by our protagonists gives a certain involvement for the audience. The perspective puts us in the shoes of our characters but what differs is that we already have our notions of the possible outcomes in the film. It makes you want to stop our protagonists from proceeding further given the feeling of impending danger but the story goes on.

I personally find the film very tiring to watch. Some scenes take longer than usual for a significant event to happen. Despite the suspension of disbelief, it was difficult for me to agree with the logical reasoning of our characters because I am really not on the same page as them. As a regular viewer who imagines the things that I would do if I were in their position, I do not really find myself making the same decisions. Also, I must be used to seeing “found footage” films in the form of horror movies which are way more fast-paced and thrilling. I tried to appreciate the film as it is anyway.

On a more positive note, I loved the idea behind the film’s story. I am familiar with the idea of trolls given my knowledge about Norse Mythology, stories from childhood fairy tales and folklore, and contemporary films and cartoons. This film gave me a newfound appreciation for this mythological creature and its significance to Norwegian culture. I never expected a film to include trolls in a much modern setting but this movie was able to mix the two quite well. It also stays true to how these creatures are presented in other media or in the original folklore. I remember knowing certain details about trolls such as their vicious nature and weakness to sunlight among others. These were carried into the movie, even with its own modifications like Hans’ UV light anti-troll weapon. Details such as these draw me closer to a movie because it has something to say especially when it comes to the culture of the country being represented. If a similar movie was made about the creature from Philippine folklore, I would love to watch it.

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