Trollhunter André Øvredal

Trollhunter André Øvredal
A lack of cultural familiarity with troll lore may dampen the intrinsic menace of the mythical goat-munching gluttons, but it shouldn't hinder enjoyment of this occasionally spectacular farce. What might turn your love to stone though are a few pretty substantial pacing hiccups and a shitty bear carcass that looks like someone murdered an oversized department store teddy. If you're going to ask me to suspend disbelief enough to buy the danger of a first-person faux-documentary/horror about trolls, at least make the bloody bear carcass a less obvious fake. Unless that's intentionally part of the humour, and it may be – Trollhunter most certainly has funny in its DNA – if that's the case, congratulations, André Øvredal, I laughed. Why am I bitching about a deceased Pooh in a troll flick? That's the set-up: a group of college students are making a documentary about a string of mysterious bear killings and notice a likewise mysterious man at the periphery of events. They follow him, eventually learning his indirect claims of being a troll hunter are true. As characters, the students are pretty much ciphers, functioning as conduits to CGI beast encounters of varying quality and to let us into the life of troll hunter Hans (Otto Jespersen), the only fleshed out personality in the flick. His tired, workmanlike dedication to the job and matter-of-fact discourse of troll myth versus fact recall the approach of pretending to document the fantastic, successfully used previously in Big Man Japan. If you measure Trollhunter's success in creature size, Ovredal and co. hit it out of this world. You will see some enormous trolls. It might be a bit much to expect the audience to accept a three-headed troll for a first encounter, but a later explanation makes the temporary discomfort worthwhile. The trolls do get more outrageous from there, but with fewer anatomical shocks to impede credulity. For some, even more impressive than shattering a Herdibeurgar turned to stone by UV lights will be the gorgeous Norwegian landscape. The beautiful mountains and lakes made me wish trolls could come out in daylight. As a nature fetishist (spiritual, not sexual), I could have gone for loads of features on location scouting, but as you can guess, the bulk of the features is pretty focused on the largely kick-ass troll CGI. Other than those VFX demos, there's a tepid improv and blooper reel, along with some deleted and extended scenes, the worthwhile of which expand upon the indiscriminate eating habits of trolls. "HD Net: A Look At Trollhunter" is a short talk with the director on the classic Norwegian troll designs, which is glazed over in the collection of "Behind the Scenes" snippets. There's a shocking revelation contained within that candid footage though: the troll hunter doesn't really have a beard. I can believe in trolls, but don't tell me the beard is a fake! (Alliance)