Tuesday, January 31, 2012

At the Movies with Bebb...Part Eight...Trollhunter

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I'm trying to deal with the fact that I only have one and a half weeks of glorious summer holidays before the new term starts. The holidays always seem to go far too quickly. But on the other hand, I'm looking forwards to meeting my new class of Kinder students and I'm excited about what this year will bring. Anyway, onwards to today's review...

The film opens by telling us that the following footage was sent to the film company by persons unknown and that it is believed the events are true. We then begin the story...When bears are found dead in Norway, three film students- Thomas, Johanna and the cameraman Kalle- decide to investigate. They find a mysterious hunter, Hans, and follow him to find an explanation for the killings. The reluctant Hans at first tells them to leave him alone, but after saving their lives from a mysterious creature in the dark forest he agrees that they can film him in action- provided they follow his orders. Soon the students learn that Hans is actually a troll hunter who works for a secret government agency. Furthermore, several dangerous trolls have escaped from their territory and Hans is assigned to eliminate them.

This 'found footage' Norwegian movie is one I've been wanting to watch for some time now as it's gotten great reviews. It was made in 2010 but has just been released here on DVD.  'Found footage' films have gained popularity in recent years since the success of the Blair Witch Project, and Trollhunter is definitely one of the better ones.

It looked and felt incredibly authentic. The handheld camera coupled with the very natural, believable performances and some very realistic looking trolls all combined to make one feel that you were actually watching a true documentary. The trolls were a combination of CGI and puppetry and they really did look like living, breathing mythical creatures caught on film, which made for fascinating viewing. The movie had some great moments of humour as well as moments of incredible suspense and other moments that were quite frightening! However, as with the best found footage type films, what we didn't see was far more frightening than what we did, and the filmmakers had used this to great effect. There wasn't much gore at all as it mostly occurs offscreen- and in our imaginations!

The storyline was very captivating and the characters likeable and easy to symphathise with and care about. My only real criticism is that it seemed slightly too long- I think if it had been cut by even just 15 minutes it would have made for a tighter plot. It's a great movie and I was disturbed to learn that an American remake is already underway, which baffles me.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Best 'found footage' movie I've seen in a long time. Intriguing, thrilling and scary enough without being terrifying! See it before the remake.

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