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Trollhunter - Spoiler Alert: Dreadful The SAD Movie Review
Hello, everyone. This week’s review is a movie I have wanted to see for a while, and it just showed up on Netflix Streaming. The movie is called Trollhunter. Before you get your hopes up, it has nothing to do with Troll 2 (an older review I will probably post next week)..
What Is This Movie About?
It is a Norwegian film, done in the style of a documentary that starts out as about bear poaching, but then evolves to be about The Troll Security Service. More specifically, Hans, Trollhunter, the baddest mother-grabber on the planet. It could be described as an “It’s like Blair Witch, but” type of movie. It even starts out saying that this was “found footage”, sent to them anonymously.
Oh God, Why?
§ They are following this guy that they think is a bear poacher, for like 10-15 minutes of the movie, which is like 2 or 3 days real-time. He goes out at night and they follow him out into the woods.
§ He comes out of the woods, screaming “TROLL!!!!” If I had a nickle... They get to Hans, Trollhunter’s car (that’s his name on IMDB, look it up) and as they are driving back, they find their own car, smashed and covered in slime... if I had a nickle.
§ They get him to agree to take them and their camera equipment along, to kill “what did that to your car”. He says he will agree as long as they do everything he says. Everyone agrees, including the chick. Wow, really? Whatever this old Norwegian guy says? He is a crazy guy who believes on trolls, that is also a descendant of Vikings. Who are famous for pillaging people and raping stuff. But, lets go into the woods with him.
§ They go in the woods and Hans, Trollhunter leaves them in a clearing. He says he will chase him this way, back towards the car. While they are alone, they start to mock him and even saying that he is probably filming them, being so stupid. Then the ground starts to shake and the sound-chick starts picking up weird stuff. Then, Hans, Trollhunter (I like that name so much, I’m not copy-pasting it, I type it out. It’s just so awesome) runs out, and screams “It’s a Tosserlad”, which sounds like an insult to me. Then....
§ Yes, that’s right, we see our first Troll. Not only that, it has three heads. It’s like Cerberus Troll, but it is cooler than I just made it sound. The camera man runs and falls (obviously). He gets some good film of the Troll, in both regular, and night-vision mode (One Night in Norway, anyone? No?), then is reunited with Thomas and Hans, Trollhunter, who get back to the car.
§ Hans, Trollhunter chants something, which makes the Tosserlad angry, then he turns the UVB lamps on, turning the troll to stone.
§ Then, Johanna comes running out of the woods. Did you forget about her? So did everyone else in the movie. She is yelling, saying “Did you see that!?” and “I told you they were real!!”. Spoiler Alert: she did not say that, at all.
§ They ask Hans, Trollhunter, why he is showing the crew all this and letting him film it. He says it’s because he is tired of his job. He has no rights, there’s no overtime. He doesn’t even get a night bonus, you guys. This scene right here shows what this movie is all about: Worker’s rights, and fair wages and benefits, for people in the “troll management” field. I’m not making any of this up, he actually says “troll management”.
§ The next morning, they go eat breakfast, where Hans, Trollhunter, has to fill out paperwork on the troll that he killed. Man, even when you’re killing trolls, there is a lot of bureaucracy.
§ They go to hunt a Ringlefinch (discussed in detail in next section), to get a blood sample for the vet they work with. Not a scientist, specializing in Troll Health & Safety. A regular veterinarian....
§ Man, there’s a lot of driving in this movie...
§ There’s a shot where sound-chick picks the wedgie out of her butt. What? They felt the need to have it in the movie, I felt the need to mention it.
§ The crew goes into an abandoned mine, where Hans, Trollhunter says trolls are staying, but they are currently not there. So, let’s totally go poking around. Just as they are leaving, the trolls come back. They are forced to retreat back into the cave, and are trapped.
§ Well, camera guy (who we just saw his face for the first time like 5 minutes ago) lied about being Christian. Apparently, Trolls can smell Christian blood. He gets killed. Take that, Christians!! (Note: the writer of this story has no ill feeling towards Christians. Some Christians, sure, but not the entire group as a whole.)
§ TWO MINUTES (my time, not really their time, but still) after their camera-man dies, a new, Muslim one shows up on a train. That’s not me being bigoted, they make a point of asking this nice girl what religion she is. She thinks they are going to film musk oxen, also, so we probably won’t get any more good footage the rest of the movie. She will be too busy vomiting in terror.
§ So, the giant powerlines you see every once in a while, are actually electric fences to keep the really big trolls corralled in one area. Just so you know.
§ Little nerd moment: The picture looks better once the new camera person gets there. She must have a better camera. Also, the shots she does are different than the other guy. That is a cool little touch.
§ TOMAS GOT RABIES FROM A TROLL!!
§ So. they find the big guy. The last couple of pictures in the slideshow gives you reference as to how big (yeah, that’s the SUV). Hans, Trollhunter chases him, uses the UVB light on the top of the car a few times, then takes off. That happens again, but the second time, the troll catched the SUV.
§ We end this movie with Hans, Trollhunter, seemingly dead, and Tomas running with the camera and footage, trying to protect it. The last shot shows a pick-up truck pulling off, probably to pick them up. Maybe he's the one that leaked up the video?
Wait, Did That Just Happen?
So Hans, Trollhunter and crew go to where the Ringlefinch is believed to be. Turns out, this one lives under a bridge. If you were a troll, wouldn’t you try not to be so stereotypical? Anyway, they try to lure him out from under the bridge with sheep. Cruel and unusual, much? Well, it does show up and grabs one of the sheep. It saves us all the annoyance of hearing it making all kinds of noise by slamming it into the ground before eating....
We then see Hans, Trollhunter (still typing it out...) come out from the back of his car, in a suit of armor. And I use “suit of armor” lightly. Just look at him. By the way, the thing under his left arm? A syringe.
He goes to get a blood sample and then gets slammed around like a ragdoll.
To get payback for that, Hans, Trollhunter goes under the bridge the troll is hiding, and uses his UVB light gun thing, to COMPLETELY EXPLODE THE THING EVERYWHERE!! Everyone gets covered in goop, then my favorite line from the whole movie is said:
It's Not All Bad...
I was really surprised at how good the CGI was, for the most part. When the camera was in green screen mode, I kept thinking “Wow, that is really bad stop-motion animation”, it was that poorly done. But the scenes where there is light enough to see the trolls, such as seeing the 3-headed troll for the first time, or when Hans, Trollhunter was shooting the Mountain King trolls in the mine, looked great. The last scene with the 200 foot tall Jotnar looked spectacular. If they were ever going to make a live-action Shadow of the Colossus movie, whoever did the CGI for this movie should get a shot at it.
There’s not actually anything all that terrible about this movie. The writing, acting, effects, everything was really well done. The only problem I had with was the sound, which is more of a continuity error than anything. Shouldn’t all the sound that is recorded be what is around the sound-chick, and not the camera? The part where they all get separated, during the first troll sighting, the sound was recorded by the camera, not her equipment. It’s not that big of a deal, but I spent more time than I would like to admit on thinking about that.
This movie is actually really well made. I thought it looked like a schlocky monster movie, but as far as “found-footage” documentaries go, you could do a lot worse. Like all of the other movie like this (Blair Witch, Cloverfield, etc), you never really get a clear shot of the “monster”. It is an obvious choice, and fits into the movie, but every time it happens, I wish the movie was shot like an actual movie, shot crisp and clean. I don’t know if the great effects make the handycam look good, or the handycam makes the effects look good.
This is a really great, low-budget movie, that delivers on every level. If you enjoyed Cloverfield, this movie will be right in your styrehus.
Five Hans, Trollhunters Staring Down The Giant Troll, out of Five
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