Trolljegeren [Troll Hunter] (2010)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Trolljegeren</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">Troll Hunter</strong>] (2010)

(On Cable TV, February 2012) I haven’t soured on the whole found-footage sub-genre yet, but I sure wish they’d find a different ending than “they all died at the end”.  (This isn’t a spoiler, given that the film starts with a cute “we’ve been trying to figure out whether this is real or not” notice.)  This being said, Troll Hunter isn’t a bad example of the form at all.  As student filmmakers befriend a tough man who proves to be a professional troll hunter (Otto Jespersen, in a striking role), what the handheld camera captures becomes stranger, bigger and more thrilling.  A monster-movie in shakycam mode, Troll Hunter delivers on its promises: Big trolls, government conspiracies, well-used special effects, a few good action sequences and a found-footage frame that credibly doesn’t break character too often.  (There aren’t many instances where you wonder why they’re still shooting, which is typically one of the sub-genre’s biggest flaws.)  Add to that the strangeness and beauty of the Norwegian landscapes, and you’ve got a pretty good film experience.  This makes the coda even more unsatisfying, as it seems willing to throw away a perfectly good happy ending in favor of a downbeat conclusion that deliberately writes itself in a corner.  Too bad, but that’s really not enough to take away anything from Troll Hunter except a too-slavish adherence to found-footage conventions.

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