This Norwegian film was part of this years' Edinburgh International Film Festival and I hadn't gone to see it as it didn't immediately appeal to me. However, Crafty Green Boyfriend saw it on it's first release after the festival and told me it would be a film I would enjoy. "It's got a strong conservation message" he told me, which is perhaps stretching a point but it is a film worth seeing.
Trollhunter follows a group of Norwegian students as they film a mysterious hunter who slowly lets them into his life as a troll hunter. They find places where trolls have caused devastation, destroying forests and killing tourists. The hunter is contracted to kill all trolls that have escaped their territory and are disturbing humans. The Government Wildlife Services, although they fund the hunter, publicly deny all possible knowledge of the trolls and bringing in obviously fake bear carcasses that they then leave in the area so that the bears can be blamed. The local bear hunters (who know their bears much better than do the bureaucrats) are not at all convinced!
The film is shot using hand held cameras to very good effect, the shaky camerawork adds to the atmosphere and tension in the film (though it can make for slightly queasy viewing at points!). Although the plot is simple, it moves along very well. The beautiful Norwegian scenery adds a lot to the film, being dramatic and often mist shrouded.
Despite the troll hunter being very outspoken in warning the students that trolls aren't like they are in fairy tales, the fairy tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff is incorporated into the film very effectively.
Conservation minded viewers will find themselves thinking about the way we treat large predators, should in fact the trolls be conserved despite being so dangerous? Are there ways that the local human populations could co-exist with the trolls?
But mostly its a well made and entertaining safari into the dark and scary Norwegian Woods.