Trolls are very popular (except Internet trolls, that is) with people in and out of Norway. They figure in folklore and in fairy tales—and even in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, where they’re just another odd face in the crowd. There are trolls in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, and in the famous Norwegian folk/fairy tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Trolls live, according to legend, in the mountains, in the woods, under bridges and, in Ankh-Morpork, even in the City Watch. Again, according to legend, they’re very anti-English or anti-Christian, being able to smell one from a long way away; their next step would be to “grind [his] bones to make my bread!” And AFAIK, they have one weakness: sunlight, which turns them to stone. (To be fair, Pratchett’s trolls are already stone and sunlight doesn’t do much to them except make their diamond teeth sparkle.)
If you go searching for “troll movies” you’ll find a lot of animated stuff about those little troll dolls that mostly only children (and Star Lord Peter Quill’s frenemy Yondu) find appealing. And there are, to my surprise, a number of movies about internet trolls and social trolls. But the only other recent (there was one in 1927) Norwegian troll movie was 2010’s Troll Hunter. That one’s another “found footage”-type film about a group of college students tracking a supposed bear poacher who turns out to be a legitimate troll hunter working for the Norwegian government; the wildlife and/or environment minister, I believe. His job is to maintain and manage trolls, and eliminate any that stray from their own territories, the same way the Norwegian government manages bears. Although officially, trolls don’t really exist, and any loss of wildlife, sheep, tourists, etc., is blamed on Russian bears that strayed into Norway. (I kid you not.) It was typical of most, if not all, found footage movies, with lots of “camera night vision,” herky-jerky film taken while running—really? Would someone running for their life really take the time to film at that point? The special effects were okay for the time, and the movie had some interesting ideas, like the one above (I laughed when a “troll trap” [a really big bear trap] was baited with a block of concrete and some charcoal briquets, but I digress.)
Now in 2022, we have a new Norwegian (courtesy of Netflix) troll movie starring nobody you’ve probably ever heard of (okay, nobody *I*’ve ever heard of), like Ine Marie Wilmann (Nora Tidemann), Kim Falck (Andreas Isaksen), Mads Sjøgård Pettersen (Captain Kristoffer Holm), Gard B. Eldsvold (Tobias Tidemann), and Anneke von der Lippe (Prime Minister Berit Moberg). This is a different movie from the previous one mentioned.
Seems there’s a mining company (I think they were looking for coal, but I’m not sure) drilling in the area of Dovre (wherever that is) and getting opposition from the townsfolk. There’s also a group of paleontologists nearby who have been searching for dinosaur fossils for months and who are about to have their funding lifted for not finding anything. In defiance of the townspeople, the guy in charge of the miners plants some explosives to enlarge their tunnel into the Dovre mountains and pushes the firing button as they watch. After the explosions subside, the miners walk and drive back into the tunnel to continue working, but something’s wrong: something is exploding back at them! They all run out of the tunnel (well, they try, anyway) and are followed by an explosion of rock and dust. The brouhaha attracts the attention of one of the lead paleontologists, just after she finally finds a dinosaur! The drilling/explosions in the mountain have awakened something. I’ll bet you can guess what that is!
Many of you won’t have seen this yet, so I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum. Paleontologist (Dr. Tidemann) is called in to consult, government gets involved (plus the military), she doesn’t believe in “fairy tales” (neither does the Prime Minister) but they are forced to call in Captain Holm and his group when they discover there’s a 50-foot-tall real troll headed for Oslo and treading on anything that gets in its way.
The special effects are well done and don’t, in my opinion, overwhelm the story, which is a good thing, as I think the story’s fairly predictable. The acting’s okay—nothing to write home about—but the settings are Norwegian, which in my opinion, is kind of cool. We don’t see that many movies with a Scandinavian locale and, when we do it’s most often Sweden or Denmark. Let’s see more of Scandinavia, dang it! And this film was made in Dovre, Oslo, and Jotunheim (followers of Thor should know who the Jötunn are or were: the Frost Giants (actually, followers of Conan should know that too!); Jotunheim means literally “home of the Jötunn.”
Several people I know have seen this and enjoyed it, so I guess that since I did too, I can recommend it. It’s a popcorn movie, really. Word on the street (the interwebz) is that they’re working on a sequel already, as this has been one of the biggest Netflix movies of recent times.
Comments? Anyone? Bueller? You can comment here or on Facebook, or even by email (stevefah at hotmail dot com). All comments are welcome! (Just don’t be a duck, eh?) My opinion is, as always, my own, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Amazing Stories or its owner, editor, publisher or other columnists. See you next time!