A couple of years ago when Paranormal Activity first came out I commented about the influence The Blair Witch had had on modern cinema. The Troll Hunter uses a similar device (pretending to be found footage edited into a documentary) but rather than for horror purposes it instead is one of the funniest films to get a cinema release for ages. Imagine if Ghostbusters was in Norwegian and as a documentary and you’ll get the idea.
Based on a off-hand comment made by the Norwegian Prime Minister (shown at the end of the film), it follows a group of students making a film about illegal bear hunting who instead get dragged into a conspiracy to cover up the existence of trolls. It’s as mad as a box of frogs, but like Ghostbusters it’s played completely deadpan making the end result even funnier. Add some occasional gross out humour (one troll explodes off-screen, the repeated use of troll-scent) and its easy charms make it an absolute joy. It’s a pity that it’s been given a fifteen certificate, there’s little troublesome about it and it deserves a wider audience.
Predictably, Hollywood has bought the rights to a remake, but it’s difficult to see how they could translate this, part of its charm is the way it gently mocks the stereotypes of Norway (which looks stunning).
Well worth seeing, and far more enjoyable than this summers major releases.