Found footage films get a lot of bad rap from the horror community, and often for good reason. However, one surprised me recently. New Norwegian director André Øvredal’s TrollHunter is an original take on found footage that trades in ghouls, ghosts, and zombies for Norwegian lore. When a group of students follow Hans, whom they believe to be a poacher, they find out that something entirely different is going on. Hans is a professional troll hunter, and agrees to take them along on the hunt.
Though the graphics aren’t absolutely seamless and convincing, the concept is so original that I never found myself thinking ‘I wish those looked more real’. After all, we know what a zombie would look like since it is just a bloodied human, and aliens have been portrayed in so many ways that everyone has developed an image of an alien in their mind. But who here has ever put much thought into what a troll would look like? Not me.
Horror as a genre tends to follow certain myths, history, and lore simply because it’s been done four hundred times before and it seems to attract viewers. A painful example is what happened to vampire lore. Not only do we have hundreds of film adaptions of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, we also have seen the complete crime against traditional vampire lore that is the ‘Twilight’ series (however I will take the time to mention that if you are looking for good vampire lore, here is a great list of vampire films). The point is: if it has been done, it has been overdone. This isn’t the case with TrollHunter. In fact, I wish we had more decent films that used more of the overlooked world lore. And I guess this is the time to confess how much of a sucker I am for Scandinavian lore and mythology, so I may be a bit biased.
To wrap it up I’ll just simply state that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. And if you are a regular reader, you know that I don’t generally prefer modern horror, and especially modern horror that relies on digital graphics. Trollhunter is an exception to that personal preference. So definitely put this on your to-watch list. And for those of you who have or are looking to sign up for Netflix, it is currently available for instant view. Enjoy, and by all means leave your thoughts below!