Unearthing Mythic Monsters: A Thrilling Retrospective on Netflix’s TROLL

TROLL is a 2022 Norwegian monster film directed by Roar Uthaug. The film features a talented cast, including Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim Falck, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Gard B. Eidsvold, Pål Richard Lunderby, and Eric Vorenholt. It tells the thrilling story of a diverse group of individuals who must unite to confront an ancient troll awakened in a Norwegian mountain and prevent it from causing chaos and destruction.

Director Roar Uthaug began conceptualizing the film while working on his previous project, TOMB RAIDER. He decided to explore an idea inspired by Norwegian folklore that had intrigued him for over two decades. The concept art depicting the monstrous troll attacking Oslo was unveiled in March 2021, generating anticipation among fans. Principal photography commenced in August 2021 and concluded in November of the same year. The production spanned various picturesque locations in Norway, including Askim, Dovre, Indre Østfold, Lom, Øyer, Rena, and Ulsteinvik.

TROLL made its debut on Netflix on December 1, 2022, garnering generally positive reviews from film critics. The film received acclaim for its outstanding performances, evocative score, captivating cinematography, skillful direction, impressive visual effects, and thrilling action sequences. However, some critics noted that the plot was somewhat derivative in nature. Encouraged by the film’s success, Netflix expressed an interest in creating a sequel, signaling the potential for further adventures in this cinematic universe.

The film’s narrative is anchored by Nora Tidemann, who, as a young girl, learned about trolls and the mythology surrounding the local mountains from her father, Tobias. Over the years, Nora’s fascination with these legends grows, and she begins to feel a connection to the trolls turned to stone within the mountains.

The story unfolds as a drilling operation in the Dovre mountains results in a devastating eruption, claiming the lives of workers and protestors. The Norwegian government assembles a team of scientists, including Nora, to investigate the incident. While most scientists attribute the disaster to a methane pocket, Nora and Andreas Isaksan, the prime minister’s advisor, notice peculiar footprints surrounding the area. They convince the prime minister to allow them to explore this anomaly further, accompanied by military soldier Captain Kris Holm. Another incident miles away strengthens their suspicion that a troll may be responsible for the catastrophe.

Nora, Andreas, Kris, and Tobias, who had previously been discredited for their belief in mythical creatures, embark on a quest to uncover the truth. They inadvertently awaken a colossal troll camouflaged on the mountainside, capturing video evidence of its existence. Despite a military operation, conventional weapons prove ineffective against the formidable creature, leading Nora to propose a sonic attack using church bells, which unfortunately aggravates the troll, causing widespread destruction and media attention.

As the troll approaches the capital city, Oslo, the government decides to evacuate the entire town and use a nuclear bomb to eliminate the threat. Nora and Andreas vehemently oppose this plan and seek the truth behind the troll’s actions. Their investigation leads them to the Royal Palace, where they learn that trolls once lived in Norway until they were wiped out by Christian settlers. The troll they awakened seeks to return home, and Oslo is its destination.

Discovering the troll’s vulnerability to sunlight, Nora and Kris devise a plan to expose it to UV light from tanning beds. While Kris coordinates with fellow soldiers to set the trap, Andreas works to delay the impending nuclear strike. In a tense climax, they lure the troll to the UV light trap, but Nora has a change of heart and tries to save the creature. However, the rising sun ultimately ends the troll’s existence.

The film concludes with an ominous note as something mysterious emerges from the rubble inside the Dovre mountain cave, leaving the door open for potential sequels and further adventures in the world of Norwegian trolls.

~David Albaugh

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