"A Norwegian Blair Witch wannabe"

Before you even start reading this review, stop, think back, and try to recall the last time you were properly scared by a movie.  Now I don’t mean a film that made you jump, or grossed you out with an overload of gore, I mean a film that properly made you feel like you did when you were five and alone in the dark.  For me, there are only two films that have achieved this – ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’.  Both of those films literally had me scared to go to bed at night, and I’m not remotely scared to admit it.

In many ways, ‘The Troll Hunter’ can be seen as Norway’s answer to films mentioned above.  The building blocks are very much in place.  It’s filmed very much in the ‘mocumentary’ style, with the protagonists of the film behind the camera.  Furthermore, the entire plot is based on ‘fact’ – the footage being entirely unedited and put together in chronological order – it’s everything a true story should be without actually being true.

Unfortunately, there is a fundamental flaw.  The key component of the aforementioned movies is that you never know what you’re afraid of, which makes you ever more afraid of it.  ‘The Troll Hunter’ breaks away from that by revealing it’s beast almost immediately.  Far from being terrifying, the trolls are rendered out of what must have been a rather meagre special effects budget, and are more amusing than terrifying.

‘The Troll Hunter’ has its moments.  Comedy is an unexpected bonus, and the use of the exquisite Norwegian landscape is very well thought out – at times you almost want to believe that the trolls exist so compelling is the evidence.  The key word though, is almost.  There just wasn’t enough here to keep me interested – “The Troll Hunter’ felt too long, and frankly not at all scary.