Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) – The Royal (Toronto)

Try to think of the world’s most dangerous job – go ahead, I’ll wait.

All done?

Did you come up with crocodile dentist? Bio-warfare experimental subject? Cyanide sommelier? They are all wrong. The correct answer is Troll Hunter.

It turns out that troll hunting isn’t as heroic as it sounds. The hours are long, the benefits are lousy and as I mentioned, it’s dangerous as hell. Also, don’t even bother applying if you’re a Christian, the trolls will smell you miles away.

Anyone keeping up with the maven lately knows that I have been on a horror movie tear. With Midnight Madness at TIFF approaching in September and the Toronto After Dark festival following in October, I can’t seem to satisfy my appetite for new horror flicks. That’s exactly why I was drawn out to The Royal (608 College St. , West of Bathurst) on a Saturday night, when I should have been going out on a date with my girlfriend or having some beers with the guys. However, there was a big problem with the latter two options…not enough trolls.

The Royal promised to deliver Troll Hunter at 9:15pm, and Troll Hunter assured that trolliness was going to be a top priority. They each delivered in spades.

I think that The Royal may quickly become one of my favourite theatres in the city. It’s right in the middle of Little Italy, so hungry and thirsty movie-goers don’t have to worry about wasting away from lack of sustenance. The interior is very clean and attractive, it even has angelic like figures adorning platforms to the left and right of the screen. And the chairs! The chairs have a lot of give, so if you really like to lean back during a movie, you will be in heaven. At $10 a ticket ($8 for students), I felt like I was being mistakenly treated like a VIP. If The Royal schedules more films like Troll Hunter, then I will be a regular fixture. On to the movie!

I hope it will not be considered a spoiler if I say that Troll Hunter contained trolls and that troll hunting was an activity the main characters partook in. The story begins with a few students from a College investigating news of a possible bear poacher in Norway. They eventually find the purported poacher and discover that he is in fact a troll hunter by occupation. However, the troll hunter has become somewhat disillusioned and decides that these College students should be allowed to film him on the job. This is quite the opportunity as troll hunting is a very secretive line of work, and as a result the College students jump at the chance.

Troll Hunter delivers on a number of levels, albeit it does take about twenty minutes to get into the hunting itself, which is by far the highlight of the film. The film is a great adventure. As a member of the audience you really feel as if you are part of a special expedition, and without any previous knowledge, you learn the job on the fly. Also, there are some excellent comedic moments during the film. Unlike other films utilizing the shaky cam or ‘reality’ documentary style, such as Blair Witch or Cloverfield, Troll Hunter has a sense of humour. There were multiple scenes that had the entire audience cracking up. Lastly, the trolls were incredible! I actually dislike CG LESS because of this movie. The trolls are awe inspiring and it is impossible to do anything but tremble when their ferocity is on display.

I wasn’t a big fan of Blair Witch style films when I went in to Troll Hunter, and coming out, I’m still not. However, Troll Hunter is a unique breed of film. It borrows from previous films but manages to feel totally unique. I can’t wait to watch it a second time. That said, this is a film that demands to be seen in theatres. A TV, no matter how big, just wouldn’t do it justice.

Troll Hunter is on at The Royal until Thursday, August 25th. In case you don’t like shaky cam movies, I should say that I didn’t find the picture to be that shaky.

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