Troll Hunter ~ Non-Spoiler Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Montage of scenes from Troll Hunter. The central image is the poster for the film.


Troll Hunter (2010) is a Norwegian drama/fantasy/horror/thriller feature film available on ITVHUB U.K.; Prime Video, Hoopla, YouTube, Plex, Kanopy USA; Hoopla Canada; Fetch, Apple, Microsoft Australia. 1 hour 43 minutes. Rated 15 UK. In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.


A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

Otto Jespersen as Hans, Troll Hunter
Glenn Erland Tosterud as Thomas
Johanna Mørck as Johanna
Tomas Alf Larsen as Kalle
Urmila Berg-Domaas as Malica
Hans Morten Hansen as Finn Haugen
Robert Stoltenberg as Polish Bear Hunter

Director: André Øvredal
Writer: André Øvredal
Cinematographer: Hallvard Bræin
Editor: Perry Eriksen


There are a lot of references in this film to Norwegian folklore. If you aren’t familiar with it then it’s probably worth having a bit of a read-up about it beforehand to truly appreciate how clever this film is. Here’s a handy reference:

Volda, Norway
Årdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway
Luster, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway


I do love a horror film, have I mentioned that before? I also appreciate horror films that have a sense of humour. This mockumentary fits the bill perfectly. Putting up with some adverts on ITVHUB was a small price to pay for the opportunity to watch Troll Hunter which I had never had the chance to see before even though it’s been around for over a decade.

Ever since I heard In the Hall of the Mountain King (Grieg, Peer Gynt) and was told the story I have had a fascination for trolls. For some reason, though it was only whilst watching this film that I made the connection to the giants that populate British and Irish folktales (“fairytales” sounds too gentle and sweet). So “Fi, fi, fo, fum” let the review begin.

This is not a big-budget film but the decision to use a hand-held camera was genius. This creates a very documentary-like, immersive and unsettling viewing experience. It certainly had my heart racing in parts. The cinematography combined with great editing and really good special effects combines to create an atmospheric, scary storyline with some great jump scares and chase scenes (amongst other things).

Adding to the visuals the music helps to create atmosphere and adds to the tension already created by the visuals.

The cast and characters in this are interesting and engaging. Lots of close-up facial expressions and, boy, some of those scenes cannot have been easy to shoot.

The forest: there is just something special about the presence of a forest in folk tales and the way this is exploited here is very effective. Also, wild areas although not forested with their slightly otherworldly features and roles in folklore (hills, rivers etc.) I loved the slow reveal in the story of what is behind the animal deaths and that it does have a message about how and why humans and wildlife come into conflict.

There are some laugh-out-loud moments in this and others that raise a wry smile. There is a lot of play on well-known tales such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff. There is clearly a lot of humour to be had in the whole process of making a documentary. It also plays with various horror tropes, again very amusing if you know the genre.

This film won a bunch of awards and, having seen it, I can see why. It is fun, scary, engaging and very watchable. Recommended.

Awards: 12 Wins & 13 Nominations

Wins include:
Amanda Awards (2011) Best Special Effects; Public Choice Award
Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (2011) Honorable Mention ~ André Øvredal
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards (2012) Chainsaw Award Best Foreign-Language Film
Kosmorama, Trondheim International Film Festival (2011) Best Producer ~ John M. Jacobsen, Sveinung Golimo; Kanonprisen Best Sound Design ~ Baard H. Ingebretsen


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