How Real Can It Be?: Reflections on Trollhunter

I have always been interested in conspiracy filled films, especially ones involving creatures that are of course, too impossible to be real. Films like these can either be too good or too bad, depending on how real the creature looks, and how fearsome it is to the characters. The Norwegian dark fantasy mockumentary film, Trollhunter by André Øvredal, showcases such creatures and how it would be like to have them in our reality. Their scary and foreboding presence is scary enough, most especially since such secret has long been kept away from the public.

There’s always something thrilling about mockumentaries, in that they portray such realistic scenes, you’d really think that the characters are real people who have experienced the horrors of what they filmed. Yet, there’s also a sense of it being unrealistic, considering that no one in their right mind would’ve probably continued a documentary far too risky. It’s also funny how in some scenes, the characters are making unreasonable decisions, which of course is an important factor if these people were actually risking their lives for filming such phenomenon. For one thing, they should’ve followed the rules dictated by the experienced trollhunter, which could’ve avoided some tragedies that happened to the group later on. Decisions like these made by the characters has made the film, for me, a little unreal. It would’ve been more real and effective for me if characters were being realistically logical about their actions without sacrificing the element of surprise and suspense.

However, one redeeming factor for me was how well the trolls were done in the film. The CGI for such a small-scale film is amazing and the way the trolls acted were very much like how I imagined them to be. The way the camera moves whenever the troll would jump and how the sound effects were perfectly synced with each scene, resulted to the film looking like it was an actual found footage. Sceneries that showed the aftermath of what the trolls have done to it, like the fallen trees when the characters were driving on the road in daylight, also added to the film’s “realness.” The scenes’ landscapes were well-planned, the audio was almost too real, and the effect put into making each troll seem life-like made the film both enjoyable and thrilling.

Overall, Trollhunter should be applauded for its story and how well it is put together. Although the characters may have made some foolish decisions, we can’t deny how engaging their emotions were, most especially when they come face to face with the trolls. The lore and the information they posed as scientific fact also made the film all the more realistic that you wonder if such information may actually be fact. The film’s take on a classic European creature set in modern-day Norway, was effective in showing us a thrilling experience of what it’s like to have monster in our reality.

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