Magnet Releasing has picked up the rights to the Norwegian found footage movie Troll Hunter. The film had its world premiere as a secret screening at this year’s Fantastic Fest, where I really dug it. Here’s an excerpt from my review at Ain’t It Cool News:
The Troll Hunter posits a world where trolls are real and roam the Norwegian countryside, closely managed - and kept secret - by the government’s Troll Security department, an arm of Wildlife Management. They lumber around eating rocks, hang out under bridges, and turn to stone or explode in direct sunlight. They have designated territories but sometimes they wander outside the bounds, and that’s when Hans, the Troll Hunter, gets called in.
Three college students are making a film about bear poaching, and at first they think Hans is a poacher. But after following him into the woods and coming face to face with a three headed troll, the truth is revealed. They then begin following him around from troll hunt to troll hunt, often getting much closer to the danger than they like. Hans, who has broken secrecy because he’s sick of his job and its poor benefits, is trying to figure out why so many trolls are leaving their habitats, and the answer could be deadly.
What I loved most about The Troll Hunter is the design of the trolls. In the modern day too many filmmakers want realism; they’ll ask the FX house to study animals or to look at the environments in which the monsters live and try to design something that makes biological sense. While Troll Hunter does throw a little bit of science into the mix - a mostly half-assed attempt to explain why sunlight kills trolls - they allow the beasts to be mythological creatures. Sort of cartoony with long, bouncing noses and gangly, improbable limbs, the trolls of The Troll Hunter look like they stepped out of a drawing in a book of fairy tales and legends. The FX were excellent; while what we saw was technically a work in progress, I didn’t notice much, if anything, that needed improving. The CGI trolls are terrific, and often look like incredibly complicated animatronic suits, which is about the highest praise I can give to digital FX of this kind. There are a bunch of different species of troll, and they’re all wonderful.
Magnet will have The Troll Hunter in American theaters in 2011.