"We're ready to believe you," promised yesteryear's ghostbusters, the idea behind that 1984 megahit being its marriage of supernatural special effects and Johnny Lunchpail another-day-on-the-job-ness. Trollhunter, already a blockbuster in its native Norway, attempts the same wry combination (less a Bill Murray) and gets about halfway there. Ignore the movie's tired Blair Witch Project--style intro, about a trove of mysterious found footage. Once our youthful doc-making heroes run across the stoic Hans (Jespersen), a no-nonsense killer of legendary beasts in the woods, the film takes off into a witty realm of nonplussed responses and folklore made roaringly real.
Trollhunter lays on the digital creatures thick; there's a dorky, bulbous-nosed appeal to their faces, right out of an illustrated Grimm fairy tale. But you'll probably laugh longer at the sight of exhausted Hans settling into a diner and filling out another Slain Troll Form. The promising gag of a government-run secret unit dispatching the monsters needs more than a solitary dispassionate grunt; the movie yearns for the camaraderie of other hunters. As with so many modern fantasy films, the sequences here seem designed to go viral on YouTube in a flash of coolness, not necessarily linger in the mind or heart.
Watch the trailer