Troll review: Norwegian monster flick holds its ground

Netflix’s ‘Troll’ is a Norwegian monster film that follows the awakening of the titular creature in the Dovre mountains, following an explosion. As it makes its way to Norway’s capital Oslo, the Prime Minister calls in a skilled paleobiologist to deal with the problem.

Story

The film opens by showcasing the picturesque Troll Peaks in Romsdalen valley, where a young Nora Tidemann scales a mountain with her father, Tobias.

After reaching the summit, Tobias talks to Nora about a fairy tale in which 13 drunk trolls lost track of time and got turned into stone as the sun rose. He then urges her to look at the peaks in front of her with concentration, and she notices multiple face-like structures in the rocks.

The plot skips forward 20 years, and Nora is now a paleobiologist working on a dig. Meanwhile, at Hjerkinn in the Dovre mountains, construction workers use controlled explosives to clear out a hole for a railway tunnel under a peak.

The explosions awaken a huge creature that bursts out of the mountain, killing the workers and a group of protestors. Elsewhere, Prime Minister Berit Moberg and her advisor Andreas are briefed on the situation by the Minister of Defence, Frederick Markussen.

They travel to a confidential base for a meeting and go over footage captured by a reconnaissance aircraft. It showcases a large crater in the ground and huge imprints nearby that suspiciously look like footprints.

Moberg asks Andreas to recruit an expert, and he calls for Nora. She is picked up from her digging site by a military chopper and flown to Oslo for a meeting with the higher-ups.

After discovering that the creature is a Troll, Nora takes her dad’s help and discovers a hidden secret inside Oslo’s Royal Palace.

Performances

Ine Marie Wilmann plays Nora in the film and does a reasonably good job with what she is given to work with. Her dynamic with Gard B. Eidsvold, who plays Tobias, is one of the few things that is interesting about the human characters in the film.

Kim Falck as Andreas is mostly the comic relief and doesn’t have much more to his character. Furthermore, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Anneke von der Lippe, and Fridtjov Såheim, among others are quite basic in the film, and do not have much depth to their characters.

Positives

Troll does a brilliant job in bringing the beast from folklore to life. It shines light on Norwegian fairy tales, and presents them to the world in a very entertaining and modern manner.

Director Roar Uthaug also makes sure that it is not just a mindless monster film by giving the Troll’s story a lot of heart. The film’s cinematography is stellar, and the moody colour grading adds another layer of intrigue to it.

The film actually manages to make you root for the monster as more of its past is revealed. It also leaves you morally conflicted with its conclusion. Furthermore, it focuses on the theme of humanity corroding nature, but never becomes preachy towards it.

The suspense, action, and thrill are top notch. The film feels exhilarating and shines the most when the monster gets screen time. The visual effects are also of the highest quality.

The loud and thunderous sound design also lifts the film up a notch.

Negatives

Troll lacks originality in its execution. There are a lot of direct references from previously released monster and dinosaur films like Godzilla, Kong, and Jurassic Park.

Owing to its inconsistent writing, the human characters in the film are lacklustre and not at all fleshed out. There is a some potential in Nora and Tobias’ relationship, but the film fails to explore it enough to make it worth your while.

The editing can seem troublesome at times as the film moves very quickly between scenes. Even the ending feels a little rushed as the screen cuts to black at a very unexpected moment.

Verdict

The film may lack originality and developed human characters but it shines as a monster flick. There is enough material in the Scandinavian folklore and the Troll’s secret past to keep you engaged.

Overall, the film deserves a watch for its well explored Norwegian folklore, stunning visuals and expertly executed destruction sequences.

Troll
Troll review: Norwegian monster flick holds its ground 1

Director: Roar Uthaug

Date Created: 2022-12-02 02:19

Editor's Rating:
3

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