Trollhunter photo
Photo by D. Tempesta

I have not watched many foreign films. Nor have I watched any found footage movies, so watching Trollhunter was a pretty unique experience for me. But it was also a great experience. I don’t think I have any complaints about the movie at all. It was certainly different, but each difference is good.

The most prominent difference between Trollhunter and most films I’ve seen was the distinct lack of music. I did not give that consideration before starting the movie, but it makes so much sense to not have a score for the film. The movie was shot from the perspective of those who lived it. For the sake of the fantasy, no omniscient being created this story from the outside. The inside perspective is all that exists. What makes it even more fun is that, without this inside perspective, this story no longer exists at all. The way we saw this story was the only way this story exists to those who were not a part of it. In a story such as this, a score would ruin the fantasy. The complete absence of music in Trollhunter adds to the authenticity of the fantasy it creates.

Another difference that I particularly liked was how the film seems to exist for its own sake, rather than for that of the audience. There is no slowing down or speeding up the story to appease viewers. There were no moments of unfitting exposition used only for the audience. The moments of exposition throughout the film were for the sake of the college film crew, who were just as uninformed as we were. We either kept up and went along for the journey with these people, or we didn’t. No extra effort was made to make sure we went along, which I think is fantastic.

I also like how much of the world that we know was included in this film. The world locations that were used exist in our world. Many of the concepts of trolls we know from other tales are found here, their stupidity, strength, size, and trouble with sunlight. The film even goes so far to use a strange line spoken by a politician to help defend its (presumed) fantasy. I found all of this to be very effective. After the movie, I said, “I know trolls don’t exist, but how do I know trolls don’t exist?” The movie was thorough and authentic enough to make this premise feel possible.

Perhaps my favorite part of the movie is how it seems like it is trying to tell us something without actually telling us what that something is. It allows us to create what we want of it. I know this seems to create a paradox with what I said about Lost in Translation, but I see these two very differently. Lost in Translation was an extraordinarily deliberate movie with extremely relatable and ordinary people. With such a deliberate, manufactured story, it seems like it was trying to tell us something. As I mentioned before, it neither told us what that something was nor led us far enough down the path for us to reach that conclusion on our own. Perhaps I am mistaken and it was intended that we create our own conclusion, no matter how varied. But I find it odd that a movie as deliberate as this wants us to make whatever we want of it. Trollhunter, on the other hand, was deliberate in a different way. It was deliberate in immersing us in a fantasy, not in trying to create conclusions for us. Trollhunter presents us with a slightly different world and allows us to do with it what we will. It seems to care not which conclusions are reached and what is discussed, only that discussions happen and conclusions are made. The freedom of thought is nice as long as I don’t feel like I am supposed to reach a predetermined conclusion that was insufficiently presented to me.

My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Did you enjoy the immersive nature of the film? What do you think about using trolls as a concept in our world? Do you think the film was nothing more than a fun movie or do you think it was intended to inspire discussion? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!

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