The nicest thing I can say about the “found footage” sub-genre is that it exists. Cloverfield is its beacon of quality, while Oren Peli tries beat it to death every year with a “new” Paranormal Activity, and I didn’t even bother with Apollo 18 (did anyone?). But what started way back in 1999 with The Blair Witch Project (say what you will, I liked it), finally climaxed in 2010 with the Norwegian film Trolljegeren (Troll Hunter).
I say the sub-genre climaxed because this is the ultimate in found footage. One question I always raise is who, within the confines of the narrative, is taking these hours upon hours of footage of people being slaughtered (since this sub-genre is usually horror), and cutting it together into a 90 minute narrative? Whoever does is a terrible human being. But that wasn’t a big hang up for me in this one, I was with it all the way through and afterwards… it was only much, much later that the thought even crossed my mind.
Troll Hunter tells the story of a student documentary crew who trek out to investigate mysterious animal killings in Norwegian farmland, only to encounter the equally mysterious Hans. They’re able to convince him to let them join his hunt for whatever beast is killing the farm animals. While they’re all speculating that it’s bears or wolves, he reveals the dark truth: that he’s been in the employ of the Norwegian government to keep the Troll menace at bay. What ensues is a beautifully shot (easy on the shaky-cam) cat & mouse monster film.
Not to sound like a snob, but I’m one of those film nerds who can’t stand dubs, and will only watch foreign films subtitled. It’s a better presentation, and it helps get over the cultural hump. And because of this, I became much more invested in the film.
If you like monster films, this is definitely the one to check out.