Here’s the next installment of my top 31 horror films since 2000.
#7 Trollhunter (2010)
Trollhunter is another film from Norway, and like Thale, mythological beasts are again in the spotlight – literally. I know I bandy the word “cool” around this list a bunch, usually when words can’t describe the jubilation I feel toward something so unexpectedly and inexplicably above my expectations. There is a lot of cool films on this list, no doubt, but none are cooler than Trollhunter.
As a child I always feared trolls. I imagined them as horrendously ugly brutes that had a penchant for baby meat. I never imagined I’d ever see one, except in my nightmares. But while watching this film, it wasn’t too hard for me to imagine that what I was watching could actually be authentic.
Shot as a found footage film, a team of young students investigate weird animal disappearances that seem to be entangled in a conspiracy. They are lead to a gruff outdoors-man whom they follow into the woods one night, where they accidentally thwart his efforts to hunt and kill an assortment of actual troll species that have broken a centuries old agreement to never breach the government-imposed boundaries separating them from civilization. Surviving the night, the hunter agrees to allow them to film him while he stalks his massive prey. Usually found footage films are deliberately shaky and obscured by darkness because most are small budget and can’t afford a believable nemesis. Not Trollhunter. There’s clearly a budget here, teeny by Hollywood standards, and a lot of talented effects artists were able to create believable trolls that are captured with steady hands, in all their grotesque glory. I was so captivated and giddy at seeing my youthful nightmare fodder come to life. The cameras know we want to see these creatures and director André Øvredal is smart enough to let you observe them, as though you’re expecting a David Attenborough voice over. The trolls are exactly as I imagined, dumb, ugly, clumsy and really, really nasty.
I know this film might sounds ridiculous, but I promise you Trollhunter is clever and exciting enough that I would be amazed if even the most cynical viewer wasn’t touched by the efforts of the remarkable Trollhunter.
Check out the trailer below and come back tomorrow for my #6.