Tag Archives: review

TrollHunter (2010)

Original title:  Trolljegeren

Director:  André Øvredal

Writer:  André Øvredal & Håvard S. Johansen

Cast:  Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck, & Tomas Alf Larsen

Rated:  PG-13

Video Review | Blu-ray | Rotten Tomatoes

TROLLS!

That phrase sums up the whole film when the lead character, the troll hunter, runs out and screams this line in the film. 

First of all I would recommend everyone watch this movie.  It is a ton of fun.  I was actually caught off guard by how much I like it.  There I was at 2 in the morning, glued to the screen watching a movie about trolls.  It is a breath of fresh air in a very stale horror market these days.  That is why I loved it so much.  Because it’s so different than everything else coming out these days.  That is what the genre needs.  People need to take note of it.  Well, Hollywood already has and they have a remake set in motion for 2014.

This film is from Norway and is a shot on video, found footage style.  Yeah I know that seems to be done to death lately but it really works well in this one.   A documentary film crew is following a man who they think is a bear poacher.  Well it turns out that he is in fact a troll hunter.  He agrees to let them follow him and film his hunting of trolls if they follow a few rules.  Trolls have a great sense of smell and can in fact smell Christian blood.  So the crew has to confirm that none of them believe in Jesus.  As you can imagine things do not go as planned.

This film is very tongue-in-cheek but also takes itself very seriously at the same time.  Throughout the film it is if you are living in a world where Trolls actually exist.    I enjoyed this aspect of the film.  It reminded me of watching movies as a child.  I would think this would be a great movie for kids too.  Probably ages 10 and up depending on their maturity level.  It is rated PG-13 for “sequences of creature terror”.  Aside from that I don’t see anything inappropriate for younger viewers.

This is one is very reminiscent of some of the giant monster movies that I cut my teeth on.  Night of the Lepus and some of the Godzilla movies immediately popped into my mind.  There are also lots of great comedic moments in there as well.  In my experience, subtitled foreign films usually have a hard time translating comedy due to the language barrier but I did get quite a few great laughs during my viewing.

I do not really have much negative to say about TrollHunter.  The only minor thing I will mention is the CGI used in the film.  It is not bad at all but I think it could have been a little better.   I know this is an independent movie with a limited budget but some of the sequences did take me out of the film a bit.  It would be impossible to make this movie without some form of CGI.  I know it is a little nitpicky but it is the only negative thing I could think of.

So if you have a young one who enjoys horror/fantasy or you just want to feel like a kid again, checks it out!  The movie looks great on Blu-ray disc and you will love seeing the beautiful Norwegian mountains in HD quality.

7.5/10

Trolljegeren

Heartless (2009)

Director:  Philip Ridley

Writer: Philip Ridley

Cast: Jim Sturgess, Clémence Poésy, Joseph Mawle, & Noel Clarke

Rated: NR

Rotten Tomatoes | Amazon | Trailer

Heartless is another “hoodie horror” from 2009.  This film is a return to directing for Philip Ridley.  Apparently he had not directed a film in 15 years.   I thought this one was interesting but convoluted at times.  A lot of ideas and concepts are squeezed into the 114 minute runtime.

This one focuses on Jamie who has been outcast from birth because of a heart-shaped birthmark over much of his face.  Jamie sees demons donning hoodies in the streets of London.  His mother passes away and he is forced to care for himself after a life of coddling.  Jamie meets a gentleman named Papa B who makes Jamie’s dream come true….to have his birthmark removed and live a normal life.

Well as expected things do not go as planned.  He is forced to pay back the favor bestowed on him by killing specific people, cutting out their hearts, and placing the on the church steps.  Throughout this whole process he falls in love with a young lady and he seems quite happy.   Jamie is forced to choose between his new found love and providing hearts for the bloodthirsty Papa B.

All in all I would say that this was a very entertaining movie.  The main drawback to me is the CGI demon faces on the hooded kids.  This is absolutely horrible.  Some of the worst I had seen in recent years and it really took me out of the movie.   With that being said I really liked the development of the characters in the film.  You can actually feel Jamie’s pain.  The relationship between him and his deceased father was particularly gut-wrenching.   The heart of the film centers around lessons learned and love lost.   Get ready for many twists and turns along the way.

Recommended for a rental

7/10

Chain Letter (2010)

Director: Deon Taylor

Writers: Deon Taylor, Diana Erwin & Michael J. Pagan

Cast: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Betsy Russell, Brad Dourif, Ling Bai, Michael Bailey Smith, Noah Segan, Clifton Powell, Matt Cohen, Cherilyn Wilson

Rated: R (Blu-ray), DVD is unrated

IMDB | Chain Letter [Blu-ray] | Youtube Trailer | Youtube Review

 

Chain Letter had a limited theatrical run in late 2010 and was released on Blu-ray/DVD in the US on 02/01/11.  This was recommended to me by fellow House of Horror reviewer and founder Savini1979.  John and I are usually on the same wavelength on horror so I went ahead and made the purchase.  All in all this was a fun watch.  The film seemed very reminiscent of the teen slashers from the early 2000s such as Final Destination.  With a few spots of social commentary and excellent gore this one was not a disappointment to me at all.

The plot on this one is significantly predictable and far-fetched but don’t rule it out just yet.  A chain letter in the form of an email is sent out by a madman to the “usual suspects” group of teenagers.  If they delete the email then they will be murdered.   You all know how that is going to play out.  But I will tell you the ending will surprise you and is very much against the grain o f the average Hollywood horror these days.  I did enjoy the ending very much.

We also get some great co-stars from other horror films.  Brad Dourif and Keith David both have sizable roles in the film.  These are not the one scene brief cameos you may be expecting.  They actually have roles that are pivotal to the plot of the film.  Another face familiar to horror is Michael Bailey Smith.  Smith played Pluto in “The Hills Have Eyes” remake.  He adds some brawn to the lead bad guy (Chain Man) in the film.  I figured it was some wrestler playing the part until I saw the credits.

What sets this one apart from the flock is the gore.  The gore effects in the film are excellent and some of the best I have seen in some newer flicks.  Very original kills in this one…something you don’t really hear very often.  Multiple horror elements are combined to make a fairly convincing and scary killer.  The film also looks good on Blu-ray.  It has that “polished” look that most modern horror films have.

All things considered, I would recommend this one for a rental.   If you are a huge fan of slashers and love gore you may want to pick it up.  It looks great in HD and is still relatively inexpensive on Blu-ray.

6.5/10