I can’t tell how serious the people who made this movie are taking themselves, let me explain.
So the movie is styled as a found-footage movie, which immediately reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, which may not have been the first found-footage movie, but was certainly the one that made them somewhat mainstream. Since the movie was made in this format, it really keeps with the “indie” style that makes it seem like it’s not a big budget film. The look of the movie doesn’t detract from anything that happens in the movie narratively. The story is still easy to understand, since a lot of it happens through exposition from the interviews that are conducted for the short film that is being recorded.
Going into the movie, I didn’t actually think that there was actually going to be trolls in the movie. I thought to myself that “trolls” could be referencing something in real life. To my surprise, there were actual trolls. The filmmakers played really hard into the fact there were trolls that were living among human beings and there was a whole government agency that is tasked with dealing with the trolls. Part of the fact that made it seem like such a “human” task, dealing with the trolls, is how the trollhunter (Hans) talked about how he doesn’t want to do the job anymore because the hours are so demanding, the benefits are that good, and that he isn’t compensated properly. All of the things that Hans mentioned are things that people with real jobs in real life complain about, so that helped sell the world that the filmmakers were creating, one wherein trolls exist. Even though it was a fictional world that the filmmakers were depicting, it was one that was still rooted in real human struggles, which I think is a good decision that the filmmakers made.
One last thing, I just thought that it was humorous that they, the filmmakers, actually incorporated a type of troll that lived under a bridge where people would sacrifice goats to, just like in the fairy tales that many people, including myself, would hear when we were growing up.