Review: Troll Hunter – André Øvredal

A good mockumentary is such a satisfying thing. They crop up rarely because the imagination required to produce them is quite lacking in the mainstream film industry. How refreshing it is to see some fantasy CGI meeting hand-held camera, docu-styling.

Troll Hunter, which should be recognised as more of a vérité/naturalistic mockumentary rather than the comedic kind, opens with those “this is a true story” headlines. But if the Coen Bros’ Fargo has taught us anything, it’s not to believe the title headlines: I would imagine most would be as skeptical as me about the existence of trolls though.

As the title suggests, the film follows a Norwegian troll hunter, Hans (Otto Jespersen), who is being filmed by three students that originally intended to film a documentary about bear poaching. As they follow Hans through Norway, they discover that trolls aren’t just in fairytales.

With hand-held camera, night-vision filming and running through dark forests, Troll Hunter is particularly reminiscent of Blair Witch Project, but of course not quite so low-budget. Stacking up £2.2m in budget, these are not David Bowie Labyrinth trolls; this is big, furry, yeti CGI.

The surround sound troll roaring was incredible; it was so loud the room was reverberating and my seat vibrating. My only reservation was that despite these monumental roars from fuck massive trolls, the main characters aren’t quite as frightened as they should be. Perhaps Norwegian students are just made of sterner stuff.

People always say the ‘true story’ mocku has been done before, and they’re right: but I don’t ever want to see it die out because damn Troll Hunter was good.

Troll Hunter, dir. André Øvredal (2010, Norway)

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