The buzz around this film means that it is a must see for any serious 'world cinema' fan, so I finally got to see it. I was not expecting too much, but was really impressed by this little gem from Norway. It is a dark fantasy told as a mockumentary from 'found tapes. It tells of a group of students from Volda College, who have heard about an illegal bear hunter. They decide as part of their project that they will interview him and maybe even get some action shots.
They track down Hans (played brilliantly by Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen) who is less than willing to talk to him. He drives a customised Land Rover that is so beaten up it would get a Vehicle Rectification Notice if my local Constabulary saw it o the road. So the plucky youngsters decide that they will follow him when he goes out at night. What they run into is given away by the title of the film and Hans decides to let them film him and the Fairy Tale Troll hunts as he is sick of the job.
What happens along the way is a story of how the group survive whilst tracking down rogue trolls. So is it any good? Well I absolutely loved it, it is done in chronological order as the tapes were found and is supposed to be a 'rough cut', so it can jump around, but it adds to the authenticity of the thing that there are so many cuts. Obvious comparisons to 'The Blair Witch Project' are fine, but this is way better than that. The special effects are good to amazing and the folklore around trolls is brilliant, we even get all the science as to why they either blow up or turn to stone when exposed to sunlight, and the whole blood of a Christian thing is thrown into the mix too. Add to that the over enthusiastic teen agers, a government conspiracy, some dodgy Polish Painters (Bear killers) and you have a whole smorgasbord of fun and action.
Director André Øvredal has done a brilliant job of getting the most from a relatively unknown cast, and has made a truly original film, So original in fact that Hollywood have already snapped up the remake rights, so see the original first. It is in Norwegian with great sub titles but also has an English dub alternative. Either one you choose this is a brilliant film that shows what a bit of imagination and some talent can do, highly recommended.