Troll Hunter

Norwegian students are trolling for trouble as the latest found footage sensation hits BD

Equal parts The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, this darkly humous Norwegian flick follows three college students making a documentary about bear attacks. The wannabe-filmmakers’ focus soon shifts to an alleged poacher whose refusal to let them interview him only makes them more determined. What they don’t realise though is that the mystery man actually works for a top-secret branch of the government, hunting and killing dangerous trolls that escape from their terretories.

It’s a great idea and one that the filmmakers clearly had a blast working with – especially when it comes to the delightful fairytale design aesthetic employed for the various trolls on show. Stradling the horror-comedy line with surprising ease, Troll Hunter is one of the year’s most unexpected treats. So do yourself and favour and hunt down a copy to watch.

Picture: Thanks to its commitment to prosumer-grade visual authenticity, the so-called ‘found footage’ aesthetic hardly prides itself on delivering superb hi-def imagery. But, Troll Hunter’s AVC 1.78:1 1080p encode holds up better than most. Yes, the flaws in the source material are readily apparent (crushed blacks here, weak detailing in subdued lighting there), but there’s also plenty to admire. When the action takes place in broad daylight the imagery is colourful and sharp, and even during the nighttime shoots, it manages to draw plenty of detail out of the CG troll characters.
Picture rating: 3/5

Audio: While it’s easy to find some inherent flaws in this Blu-ray hi-def visuals, it’s considerably more difficult to find anything to moan about when it comes to the audio. While the film tries to tell you that all of the audio was recorded on location by a sound engineer with a boom mike, the truth is that this is an extremely competent and very aggressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix (in both the original Norwegian and an English dub). Whenever a troll hits the screen the mix is cranked up to ‘eleven’, never more so than in the final confrontation with the towering Jotnar (Chapter 11) with the booming bass of its footsteps and anguished howls reverberating around you.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: The Blu-ray delivers a reasonable collection of features for fans to explore. There are five deleted scenes, three extended scenes, two improvised sequences, a blooper reel, a collection of short visual effecs featurettes (Visual Effects Breakdown: Ringlefinch, Digital Models, Jotnar and Tosserland & Mountain Kings), seven behind-the-scenes vignettes, two photo galleries, a HDNET promo featurette and the theatrical trailer (the last being the only extra not presented in hi-def).
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Surprisingly good hi-def package for this charming Norwegian ‘handycam horror’  

Momentum Pictures, Region B BD, £20 Approx, On sale January 9