Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hodgepodge Scifi: Trollhunter

A heartfelt welcome back for Day 4 of Hodgepodge Scifi. It would appear today's film takes on the premise of a documentary in the style of The Blair Witch Project in Norway. Alas our valiant crew is not looking for hags but in fact there seems to be a steady decline in bears and many of the local hunters are convinced there is a poacher. Three college students are set out to find our illegal hunter but there's a slight catch. Seems as though said hunter is not trailing bear but a much deadlier predator. This is Trollhunter.

Ahhh!!! Paris Hilton!!! Oh, wait that's the troll.

With writer/producer/director Andre Ovredal (Future Murder, The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Ghost Projekt) this film is a found footage mockumentary aligning a cast of less than known actors cut interspersed with random footage following carnage of bears being wiped out, our students documentation director Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud of Orange Girl, Trollhunter and High Point), boom operator Johanna (Johanna Morck of Cold Prey 2, Magic Silverm Trollhunter, Date and Before She Came, After He Left) and cameraman Kallie (Tomas Alf Larsen of Cold Prey, Cold Prey 2, Trollhunter and It's Only Make Believe) on in hot pursuit as they survey the camps, finding odd tracks in the snow which is immediately dismissed by Finn Haugen (Hans Morten Hansen of Trollhunter, Dag, Curling King and Side om side), the head of Norwegian Wildlife Board. He believes the tracks to be faked and someone looking to pass on a ghost story or stir up publicity. The suspected poacher, a one Hans (Otto Jespersen of Odd Little Man, Rikets rost, Trollhunter, Nattskiftet and Borning) seems to know the mountains inside and out and could easily evade capture, live off the land and not worry of authorities coming at the ready for him.

Next time, no mating calls!!

Failing to secure an interview that morning, the trio bird-dogs him that night, slowly creeping up on him on foot when they see Hans fleeing for his life screaming, "Troll!" Thomas is attacked by a massive animal and the lot of them pile into Hans' Land Rover as their own vehicle's tires have been torn to shreds. Coming clean with the kids, Hans tells them he does not stalk and kill bears but in fact kills trolls. Naturally they are skeptical but ask to join Hans and record the hunt, which he agrees provided they adhere to his every condition on the hunt. No exceptions.

Encountering a troll, Hans blasts a three-headed beastie with a UV strobe light that must have been set at God level because the critter turns immediately to stone. We learn that sometimes trolls just explode due to a concentration of UV light. Normally the creatures stay out of populated areas and lately they have been violating their own instincts. Hans is determined to get a blood sample and see if something has altered in their diet. He later explains that his is a government agent that specializes in destroying these creatures if necessary, track and monitor their habits.

What is causing the creatures to roam about? Can Hans decipher what is going on before it is too late? Will the public finally learn that the creatures of myth are actually factual?

Just a few bit of info on the moving pictures there. This was shot entirely in the forests and mountain range of Western Norway which as actress Johanna Morck put it, an exhausting experience running up and down that region. According the director Ovredal this was the only way to maintain absolute secrecy on the flick as a whole. With some CGI, the creatures are very effective and the night vision view adds to the drama.

Sadly the comparison to The Blair Witch Project was weighed heavily on this movie and many found it flat performances and lacking texture. Personally, I found the cinematography amazing, the locations excellent for a creature of legend and in general, it was fair a great example of a low budgeted film pushing the envelope. Hell, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 82 percent on the Fresh rating say 72% that saw it liked it overall and I have to agree. I went into this with no hope of being entertained and I was refreshingly surprised. Give it the once over, folks.

Yeah we have cold camps but we also snuggle well.