Illustration by John Bauer. I’m not sure who the illuminated
tart is. To be fair, I didn’t look very hard.
This past weekend, my husband and I sat down to watch “Troll Hunter” streaming on Netflix. Half of the fun of watching a film with my husband is to watch him laugh, and he laughed full belly laughs with this very clever, very entertaining movie. I would give it 8 out of 10 stars.
I’m not too keen on watching movies with subtitles. I think the last time I watched a movie with subtitles my husband and I were in the first year and a half of our courtship. (I just love the word courtship. It’s so wonderfully old fashioned sounding.) And yes, I was trying to impress him. It worked well enough.
If you plan on watching this movie, you can stop here if you choose. I will be posting what some would call Spoilers. I have a friend who is still mad at me for ruining the ending of “The Others” for him. I saw where it was going, not sure how he didn’t. You’ve been warned.
The movie is shot in the same style of The Blair Witch Project. It’s the tale of three college students who embark on a mission to track down a bear poacher only to find something unexpected. The three believe they have found the poacher and follow him into the woods at night. He emerges from the woods and shouts, “Troll!!!.” They flee and one of the students is attacked and their car is a slime drenched wreck.
They discover quickly that Hans is no bear poacher but rather a disgruntled Troll Hunter for the TSS – The Troll Security Services. Basically, he’s hates his shitty job and wants a change in Troll management. He agrees to let them film him killing this creature in the woods if they agree to do just as they are told. He warns them that trolls can smell the blood of Christian men and anyone who is a Christian should turn back. Off they go, covered in troll stench and with an oversized flashlight that emits UVB lights. Apparently, sunlight turns Trolls to stone or makes them explode.
Hans believes he is after a sick Ringlefinch. He goes off looking for it leaving the students in a clearing waiting for him. They aren’t convinced he isn’t crazy until the ground starts shaking and trees start to sway back and forth off into the distance. It wasn’t a Ringlefinch but rather a three headed Tosserlad. Hans manages to turn the Tosserlad into stone with the help of a series of light stanchions on the back of his truck. He knocks it over with a sledge hammer, jack hammers it and then blows it up hiding all evidence it was there in the first place.
Enter Finn, the representative from the Wildlife Board. He is furious with Hans for allowing them to film the trolls. His bigger concern is the valley full of dead cattle. A Polish painter’s truck pulls up and unloads a dead bear – the scapegoat. Of course they bring the wrong type of bear. Hans makes bear tracks onto the ground to make it look real.
This doesn’t deter them from traveling with Hans in his Troll-Hunting-mobile complete with Troll tail trophies, Troll stench making equipment and UVB lights. I can only imagine what the vehicle would smell like – cooked Troll stink.
The students learn from Hans that there are two main types of Trolls: Mountain and Woodland Trolls. Varieties include Ringlefinch, Tosserlad, Rimtoser, Harding, Mountain Kings, and Jotnar. Trolls aren’t born with three heads but some develop them with age to deter other trolls and to impress the lady Trolls. They can live to be 1000 to 1200 years old and they are extremely stupid.
They need to get a blood sample from the sick Ringlefinch. They use three sheep and Christian man’s blood to lure the Ringlefinch onto a bridge. Hans gets knocked around in the process but he is able to deliver a sample to a veterinarian.
The four find themselves in a Troll liar at night. While they are inside, the Trolls came home. These Trolls were Mountain Kings and resemble the Trolls in the Bauer illustration sans clothing and princess, but with a whole lot of flatulence. And that cameraman, he lied. He was a Christian man. You can only cover yourself in so much Troll stench.
I’m going to stop here. I’ve ruined enough of this movie for you. I would recommend that you watch it yourself. All I am going to say is that there are some big freaking trolls out there.
Some of the beauty in the story will be lost on non-Norwegian audiences like the three sheep on a bridge and the Jotnar. That being said, I still enjoyed it and now that I am exploring some of these myths, I’m realizing just how brilliantly funny this movie actually is. Trolls are so imbedded in Scandinavian folklore. I will be doing a Part Two of this post at some point to explore some of these stories and myths.
Have you seen Troll Hunter? Are you planning to? I’d love to know what you think.