Trollhunter | Film review
Don’t feed the trolls. Not even with VHS copies of The Blair Witch Project.
Has The Blair Witch Project just arrived in Scandinavia? Taking its cues from that obvious 1999 inspiration, Trollhunter opens by announcing that the footage we’re about to see—of the last hours of the titular troll-slayer and the camera crew trailing him—has been determined to be authentic. If that’s the case, the kids who filmed it were extraordinarily gifted documentarians, capturing precisely what was needed to further the narrative—and getting great shots of those slimy, cranky, vaguely digitized mountain giants—with only a minimum of shakycam. (The people who allegedly found and edited the footage, on the other hand, could use a few pointers on continuity.)
The mock-doc concept is ignored when necessary, but that’s no matter; suspension of disbelief seems like a reasonable prerequisite for a horror comedy that strives to thrill with a format that’s already been cheapened (Open Water, Cloverfield) and parodied (The Last Exorcism). The movie has the good sense to save its foggiest, most suspenseful set piece for the end, but apart from a few amusing gags involving Norway’s conspiracy to keep the existence of these bulbous monsters a secret, the basic concept feels as tired as a 1,000-year-old wood sprite. Unless you’re inclined to find the taxonomy of trolls inherently amusing, Trollhunter’s one joke may leave you a little bjord.