13. Trolls (Trollhunter)
Our modern society has gotten trolls a little confused. If you’ve been forced to sit through the recent Trolls film starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, you know that the cutesiness levels of trolls have intensified to near-epidemic proportions. More often than not, people now think of trolls as these tiny creatures with wild hair and decent dance skills.
But the trolls of old were far more sinister creatures. In Norse mythology, they were powerful beings that came into conflict with the gods themselves. Even in Scandinavian folklore, trolls were far from friendly. They were either indifferent to humans, or outright hostile. They’re often very old, slow, and dim-witted. Yet, Scandinavian trolls are incredibly strong and have a propensity for eating human flesh.
This is the kind of troll that inspired the beings of Trollhunter, a Norwegian found footage mockumentary released in 2010. Now, I know that words like “found footage” and “mockumentary” are enough on their own to turn off dedicated horror fans but stick with me here. For all the inherent goofiness of its concept, Trollhunter is really, really good.
The film follows a group of students who set out to make a documentary about illegal bear poaching. However, they soon discover that Hans, the suspected bear poacher, is someone else entirely. He’s actually a troll hunter who works for the Troll Security Service. Oh, yes, and trolls are real.
The trolls here are not at all adorable, however. They’re large, ugly beings who can wreck cars and hunger for Christian blood (at one point, Hans makes sure that all of the students are atheists before he allows them to accompany him). Even worse, the trolls have been getting more aggressive and have been leaving their remote territory. The answer – which I won’t dare spoil here – makes the animalistic trolls even more frightening.