I was fortunate enough to have visited Norway during my summer break last year. While my family and I were doing our typical clutch souvenir shopping, I noticed that a lot of products were related to trolls. I did not understand why and I was not able to get a chance to ask about it back then. I figured that it had something to do with local cultural beliefs but I never got to confirm it. After seeing the film Trollhunter, it was able to inspire me to go back to a culture I was yet to uncover. Trollhunter is simply a mockumentary about the fictional existence of trolls in the Norwegian region. The film was centered on a group of college students interviewing and following the undertakings of a man who’s sole purpose is to kill trolls when necessary.
Frankly, I do not know anything about Norway’s film industry but this film caught me by surprise. Being able to visit Norway in the past, I never expected to see a fantasy film that would be able to greatly capture the country’s culture and beauty. The idea of having some sort of found footage as the foundation of the film fit the theme well given that trolls are ideally creatures people have never witnessed. It gave the audience that “what if” idea at the very beginning of the film, immediately making them question the genuineness of what they are about to see. The director, Andre Ovredal, was also able to find the right balance in making the audience believe whether the film was fantasy or not. Despite viewers’ curiosity on how these trolls look like, they were not shown minute after minute, trying to ensure that the curiosity lasts throughout the film. A well thought-out pacing was executed for the appearance of trolls given that the audience should always remember that the film is just a “documentary.” Moreover, although not as significant, the film utilized the vast amount of scenery that can be found in Norway’s land. Ovredal was effectively able to use Norway’s landscape for setting the trolls’ territories. Every location a troll was found made sense if they were to actually exist in real life.
All in all, Trollhunter is a refreshing play on certain imaginary creatures a country has developed in its culture. Trolls are commonly heard of in Scandinavian mythology as creatures potentially dangerous humanlike creatures that are not Christian. The film was able to show these characteristics and even more as the trolls were boosted to drastic strengths. It was able interestingly captivate viewers’ attention throughout the length of the film, keeping everyone judging whether trolls do live around us.