Troll is a decent slice of B-movie monster fun that certainly is on par or better than a lot of Hollywood’s attempts at the genre in recent years.
WRITTEN BY JACK RANSOM / DECEMBER 7, 2022
Troll sees something gigantic awaken after being trapped for a thousand years. Destroying everything in its path, the creature is fast approaching the capital of Norway, with politicians, the military, scientists and researchers desperately struggling to stop something they thought existed only in Norwegian folklore.
Despite a teaser releasing in the summer, this Norwegian creature feature only really appeared on my radar a few weeks ago when I happened across the poster and a brief glimpse of the official trailer. As I always say at the start of every Netflix production review, the streaming service has the most sporadic output in terms of quality: forgettable dirge (The Gray Man and Red Notice), criminally underrated gems (The Night Comes for Us and Apostle), fantastic acclaimed hits (The Irishman and Marriage Story) and a whole host of forgettable horror tripe that no-one remembers after 5 minutes.
Troll finds its self in a category I will call: “that was pretty good”. It is a throwback romp to the monster movies of the 50’s and the cheesy disaster flicks of the 90’s/early 00’s. At slightly under 105 minutes, the film just about justifies its length, with its very simplistic and familiar premise being one of which you will have seen plenty of times before in this sub-genre. You’ll be shocked to hear that the militaristic and governmental forces go straight for the violent option and that there is a prominent ‘don’t mess with nature’ message at the forefront. I do wish there was a bit more exploration of the troll lore, as the tidbits the film delivers are tantalising.
The lower budget is certainly apparent in the lack of grandiosity and huge scale destruction potential never fully being realised. However, the titular beast itself looks excellent and clearly was what all the money was invested into. There are a couple thoroughly entertaining set pieces that implement the creature’s mythology into the combat situations and though some of the stylistic choices appear in nearly every single giant/kaiju flick, there are some satisfying uses of slow-mo and camera spinning.
The performances are solid and do help with making these very familiar and thin character archetypes more engaging. Ine Marie Wilmann and Gard B. Eidsvold make for a suitably snappy and wholesome father/daughter duo, Kim Falck’s excitable PM advisor brings a few laughs and Mads Sjøgård Pettersen adds a bit more of a lighthearted and understanding edge to the typical soldier role.
Troll is a decent slice of B-movie monster fun that certainly is on par or better than a lot of Hollywood’s attempts at the genre in recent years. It’s smaller scale is refreshing, the CGI looks great and the characters are engaging enough. There is some awkward humour, a mountain worth of familiar traits and tropes and a smattering of pacing problems. However this certainly lands on the positive side of Netflix’s output.