Director: André Øvredal
Stars: Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Tomas Alf Larsen, Johanna Morck
Just when we thought we’d had enough of the whole found-footage subgenre of horror, along came TrollHunter, a creature feature crammed with enough dark humor, awesome visual effects, and wild ideas to rightfully earn its place alongside the likes of Cloverfield.
Taking cues from an eclectic range of influences (includingJurassic Park and Man Bites Dog), Norwegian writer-director André Øvredal mines a whole lot of fun out of his country’s longtime obsession with trolls, the Godzilla-sized, ogre-ish ones that’d flick America’s beloved little Troll keychain figurines like dirt off shoulders. A crew of ambitious documentary filmmakers trail an aged, rugged Troll Hunter through the woods as he chases down and kills a variety of beasties, such as a three-headed behemoth and somber monster given the facial expressions of an old, ailing man.
With genuine laughs and several rollicking action set-pieces, TrollHunter is a hoot that knows when to play it straight and when to wink at its own absurdities. If such praise doesn’t leave you wanting to catch this one, just check out the trolls themselves; J.J. Abrams could’ve used some of Øvredal’s input when designing his own giant monster in Super 8. TrollHunter shows its mammoth antagonists clearly and often—they’re easily the year’s coolest CGI creations thus far.