The natural history of...trolls!?

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 12 September 2011 18:57

Warning, this post contains spoilers! Do you know your Ringlefinches from your Mountain Kings? Probably not because as far as I know there are no trolls in Sussex (but I guess if there were they would be somewhere in Ebernoe). The Troll Hunter was one of the most engaging and original films I have seen in years, difficult even to pin to a genera as it is so much more than either a monster movie or a comedy. But the reason I am writing about it on this blog is the level of detail that went into thinking about the natural history in this film, albeit completely fantastical. As a naturalist I found this really exciting and it added to the dry, understated humour of the film. The recording proforma that I am so familiar with was used in this film, even if it was to record the slaying of a troll! And who knew that pylons were just giant electric fences to keep the trolls out?!

It is the Troll Hunter himself though who steals the show. He is an impressive character, always remaining calm (except for one moment when he yells 'TRRRRRRROLL!!!') against some pretty colossal opponents and he appears capable throughout. His respect for his quarry is evident and he is clearly a reluctant hunter, openly showing the toll his troll hunting post for the TSS has had upon him over the years. Apparently there is such a thing as too much field work!

I would whole heartedly recommend seeing this film, especially at the cinema. If you don't like the fantastical then I guess this is not for you but it doesn't take itself too seriously. That said it plays it pretty straight and dead pan too at times. I'm not sure this film could have been made in the UK because it is this unlikely balance that produces a simple honesty which harks back to an age lost here. This seems to be thriving in Scandinavian cinema, I think we are just too cynical. That said, the Americans are working on a remake - I'll be sticking to the original thanks. Oh and the only bird I heard in the whole film was a Cuckoo, I was hoping for some owls. Go and see it!

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