I don’t why, but André Øvredal’s 2010 Norwegian dark fantasy film, Tolljegeren (Trolhunter), somehow reminded me of the German film, Good Bye, Lenin! (2003). Maybe it was because the accents of the characters were somehow similar [for me], because one of their main characters resembled each other, or because most of the main characters in both of the films seemed kind of naïve to (especially in the beginning), but both films seemed somewhat similar in an aspect. However, other than that, Trollhunter is a film that aspires to move its viewers by making them second-guess the reality that they live in.
Honestly, after watching the film, I was contemplating the possibility of whether trolls were real. Are they being hidden by the government which aims to “protect” its people from unknown possibilities? Are there really mythical creatures hiding in the forest? Are all conspiracies true? We do not know. However, Trollhunter was able to successfully make me think of those possibilities. Its use of scientific explanation, especially with how trolls can be turned into stone when exposed to ultraviolet lights also supports the idea of said possibility being true. The crew even added the ending scene where the Norwegian Prime Minister candidly confessed to trolls being real while being interviewed by the press. Moreover, the cinematography and the way the shots seemed so natural made it more realistic. There were even instances where the lens was broken while filming and when the someone dropped the camera due to fights or when they were running. It also reminded me of the Paranormal Activity films where the footages and the storylines seemed candid to make them seem real and scarier to the audience.
However, I think one flaw that the storyline seemed to underthink was the fact that trolls can smell a Christian person’s blood. To me it seemed unrealistic, as it’s kind of subjective to be a Christian. How can someone know they’re Christian? Is it because they go to church or because they pray? Also, if someone were to transition from non-Christianism to Christianism, how would his/her blood change? And what do trolls have against Christian blood anyway? In a sense, the part regarding the Christian blood dilemma made no sense to me.
However, I liked how, after their cameraman was killed by a group of trolls because he was a Christian, the film stayed true to its structure and maintained portrayal of having a “broken camera lens” until they found another camera person. I also liked how the film crew added the scene where they revealed how trolls have rabies, which affected Thomas and caused him to have rabies. However, although some viewers might not notice it, but Thomas was feeling ill one minute and the next minute, he’s running to help Hans kill the Jotnar. He even had the energy at the end of the film to run (albeit unsuccessfully) from government agents.
Conclusively, Trollhunter was entertaining and may seem realistic to some of its viewers. As a fan of fantasy and adventure movies, I like how the film was structured to seem realistic with its “shaky” footages and naïve characters. However, the only things stopping me from thinking that the footages are real were the fact that trolls can smell Christian blood and that the Norwegian government was too naïve to not find the camera footages that the crew had shot.