Troll Hunter

I’m not really much of a fan of the current fad in horror to churn out tons of shitty “found footage” ultra low budget movies where studios can get away with spending next to nothing, because the movies tend to show you next to nothing, and rake in tons of dough at the box office while idiots lap them up because they seem so “real” and “terrifying” (Paranormal Activity and of course The Blair Witch Project being two prime examples).

Call me crazy, but when I got to theatre I want to see a MOVIE, not the equivalent of someone’s vacation video but with even shitter cinematography because they can’t keep the camera still for a single shot of the film.  Also, watching people sob and cry for a whole movie while fucking NOTHING happens is not my idea of terrifying, it’s my idea of boredom coupled with minor to major annoyance depending on the actor/actress.

Not to say there aren’t a few examples of this style done right.  I mean there's Cannibal Holocaust, the true originator of the style (not The Blair Witch Project). That one's a classic of the horror and exploitation genres.  But there you have it within an actual movie, and its shot on film, and things happen in it.  There’s certainly no skimping on cannibal action in that one folks.  The Spanish REC films were also well done examples of how to do this genre right (Quarantine, the American remake, not so much).  Probably the more popular example, mainstream wise anyway, would of course be Cloverfeild, and I’d say Troll Hunter probably has the most in common with that one, but thrown into a blender with mockumentaries like Spinal Tap and Fubar.  If you can imagine that, in Norwegian, you have a pretty good idea of what this one is gonna be like.

I have to say, this one falls into the “good” pile of the found footage genre.  You can tell they really made the most of what was probably a very small budget to make a movie that seems like it cost way more than it probably did.  One clever thing was to use natural surroundings in the area and work them into the mythology of the movie in humorous ways (power lines are electric fences to keep the trolls in their territory, boulders are evidence of trolls fighting each other, shit like that).  But what was great about this movie was that they clearly spent a great deal of the budget on some impressive CG work to actually show you the trolls.  They don’t skimp out either like Cloverfeild did for the most part from actually pulling back and clearly filming the creatures in action, which I really appreciated.   And I’m not being charitable either, the CG work here is easily on par with the stuff you usually see in big budget Hollywood flicks, and in some ways might actually be better because they don’t have the creatures over-animated (as they usually do with CG, just because you can animate something breaking all the laws of physics, doesn’t mean you should).  They lumber around just like giant, ungainly creatures would; no triple backflips in the air and running along walls to be found here.

The other thing I liked here was that although the camera still gets bounced around and shaken all over as the characters are running around, etc it didn’t always resort to that, and was all the better for it.  Of course, the movie still has the fundamental problem of characters filming even when it seems terribly unrealistic that they would want to lug around a great big camera filming while giant monsters are running after them trying to eat them, but call that a limitation of the genre I suppose.

All in all though, this one’s a keeper.  I don’t think it’s going to revolutionize and revitalize what I would consider at this point to be a completely lifeless and oversaturated genre (I heard they were even gonna make the next Friday the 13th movie as found footage, because I guess making a satisfying slasher MOVIE is just too fucking hard for the retards in Hollywood these days) but it’s definitely one that might be remembered for more reasons than how much money it made in theatres compared to what it cost.