Film Viewings of the Week: Monsters Edition

6:11 PM

This past week, all I've watched are monster movies. Similar to the Woody Allen binge of April 2012, it's going to be a while before I can face another Mothra, Godzilla or Kaiju. I might have outdone myself but at least I've come out the other side with a whole new knowledge of monster movies. So far my two new favourites are Trollhunter (or Trolljegeren) from Norway, and Grabbers from Ireland. 

Trollhunter (2010)

In the grand tradition of The Blair Witch Project, the opening titles of Trollhunter reveal that the footage we are about to see is 100% authentic. Supposedly spliced together from tens of hours of raw content, the final work that is Trollhunter is the true events of a small group of University students who, in the pursuit of what is assumed to be a bear poacher, stumble upon something far more sinister. Taking place and shot entirely in the breathtaking valleys and lakes of the Norwegian countryside, we follow Thomas, Johanna, and Kalle, young documentarians looking for answers to illegal bear poaching activities. They think they’ve found the answer with Hans, a gruff, suspicious loner type who disappears at night in a gashed-up Jeep into dense forests, only to return at sunrise, weary and beaten. One night, the trio of brave artists follow Hans into the night, only to discover that bears aren’t the object of Hans’ attention…but bone-crushing, violent, 200-foot trolls are. Known as a trolljegern, or “trollhunter”, Hans tracks these foul beasts that have strayed from their territory, and takes them down. The students now teamed up with Hans must survive against the massive beings now run amok on the frozen tundra and in the densely shrouded woods. With dialogue improvised entirely in the moment on set (again, very much like The Blair Witch Project), Trollhunter has an unexpected wonderfully authentic appeal, only hindered slightly on the grounds of CGI. Constructed on an extraordinarily modest budget, the computer-generated trolls themselves are massive, bumbling creatures which at once evoke a comical note and every once in a while, a terrifying one. Shot in a mockumentary fashion, with the added atmosphere of a horror film, Trollhunter makes for an extraordinarily entertaining and surprisingly well-constructed film.

Trollhunter (2010)
Dir. André Øvredal
Starring Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck
103 mins | Norway

Grabbers (2012)

When a gargantuan, tentacled, blood-sucking monster begins attacking a quiet coastal Irish village, the locals react in the only way they know how: hitting the pub. Maybe not your typical plan of action but in this case, it’s the luck of the Irish that alcohol is toxic to these monsters. Makes you wonder how a born and bred Irish monster could possibly be allergic to alcohol in a country that’s about as liquor loving as America is gun loving. This isn't your typical movie about bloodsuckers and not your typical weapon, but hailing from the Emerald Isle, Grabbers takes on the distinct flavour of horror-comedy that is so fundamentally mastered and unmatched by anyone other than the United Kingdom. Our story begins with Lisa Nolan, a by the book, no-nonsense Police Officer who’s new in town. Temporarily taking over the post as local officer Ciaran’s partner, Lisa isn’t necessarily given the warmest welcome as an outsider to the tiny community she’s bound to protect. And it would just so happen that in the first few days of her two-week posting, disaster strikes, or rather the Grabbers do. There’s a catch though. Grabbers can only survive where there’s water. Good thing for them (the Grabbers, not the townspeople), it's rainy season. And so, when the storm is raging and the Grabbers are grabbing, the town folks put on brave faces and get properly pickled at the local tavern to wait out the attack with happy company and high blood alcohol levels. Stay drunk, stay safe. Grabbers is probably if not most definitely one of a kind on the scene of Irish horror-comedy films, and certainly not one you’ll want to miss. Grab a pint, kick back and try not to let the grabbers bite.

Grabbers (2012)
Dir. Jon Wright
Starring Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey
94 mins | Ireland

You Might Also Like


Contact Form


Email *

Message *