College students go out in the woods with a camera and disappear leaving only footage behind. Sound familiar? Well, this time it’s a wee bit different thanks to plenty of dry Norwegian wit and a ludicrous subject played with straight faces. Hoping for an interesting story on bear poaching, the students soon find out the object of their pursuit is hunting something different – trolls. Is the man insane or is there more than bears out in the wilds of Norway?
The found footage craze has slowly died down in movie making much to the relief of serious cinema buffs. However, this indie gem out of Norway proves that the format isn’t completely worthless and that a good movie can be made in the style. It doesn’t hurt that a very dark sense of humor is complimented by legitimate tension building, great effects, and deadpan acting.
Like all found footage movies things begin with text on screen informing us that the following content was edited from footage recorded by missing people, in this case college students working on a project in 2008. We quickly get to know the main characters through glimpses of them setting up their gear and an early introduction for a documentary they are filming.
Thomas (Glenn Erland Tosterud) is the nerdy and earnest face of the production, clearly in charge even if not respected by his cameraman. Johanna (Johanna Morck) is an attractive blonde in charge of the boom mike and recording system. Her other job is trying to keep cameraman Kalle (Tomas Alf Larsen) from being a jerk toward Thomas.
Their quarry is a suspected poacher killing bears and depositing them in random places in the countryside. Clued in by the hunting community, they eventually track down the mystery man known only as Hans. Hans (Otto Jespersen) is a gruff cipher who rebuffs the trio when they confront him at a trailer park.
Something isn’t right though, even accounting for his illegally killing bears. One look at his battered Land Rover reveals some very nasty claw marks that don’t look very ursine in origin. Then there is the horrible smell coming from his camper.