Trollhunter: European vs American

Compared to the past films, I enjoyed watching Trollhunter the most because of its mix of European culture and American style narrative. It showed American style of narration because of its straightforward plot, dynamic characters, and the many action scenes. The college students are shown to be active characters because of how they set out to make a documentary about the bear poacher named Hans. They soon find out that he is a Trollhunter, and they follow along in his journey by helping him hunt trolls. This is a contrast to many European films because many of their characters are not very active, and so little is accomplished. The action scenes are very exciting, and they are not very common in the usual European films. The scene which I enjoyed the most was the fight with the last troll named the Jotnar in the snowy mountains. During this scene, Hans failed several attempts in killing it, and then it became him facing the troll of one on one. At this point I thought he was going to fail because of how impossible it looked in the scene, and it was like a David and Goliath battle. However, Hans was able to defeat the Jotnar by shooting it with a missile which turned the troll into stone.

After researching about the background of this film for a presentation in class I believe that what made this film uniquely European cinema, is the incorporation of the many cultural references of Norway. The characteristics and appearance of the trolls in the movie are faithful to Norwegian legend like for example, the multiple heads, ability to smell Christian blood, and turning to stone when exposed to sunlight. There are also a references to Norwegian fairy tales such as Three Billy Goat Gruffs, which can be seen during the part wherein Hans lures a troll by using three goats. There is another reference to a fairy tale entitled Soria Maria Castle wherein Thomas stands in the same pose mirroring the painting by Theodore Kittelsen, and then asks his friends if he looks like a famous painting. Another European film characteristic is how the film does not end with closure but instead it leaves it open ended. After Hans defeats the last troll, the government comes after the college students, and they lose the footage during the chase. Then the film states how the students are never found nor heard from again. This leaves the audience to speculate what happened to the students since no information was given, and this is a common trait of European films.

Even though this film incorporates American style of narration, I do not think it loses its identity as European film because the many cultural references in the movie are unique only to Norway. If this film was remade in American cinema, then it would become entirely different because it would lose these cultural references and even the Norwegian humour present in the film. It would likely be about a different creature like Bigfoot or the Yeti, and it would American humour instead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s