tl;dr This a strong monster movie, and an amusing and quirky comedy. Worth checking out.
So, there's trolls living in the wildlife in Norway. It's true, but we never get hear about them. One man, a troll hunter, is responsible for keeping these creatures from causing too much havoc, whilst the government covers up there existence. This is the central conceit of The Troll Hunter, a Norweigan film very much in the vein of The Blair Witch Project whilst also living comfortably within the monster movie genre.
This is a subtle and amusing movie, leant a very genuine feel by the improvisation of much of the film's scenes. There are no real jokes, exactly, but an amusing look at the potential workings of real life trolls. Perhaps some of the cultural riffing is inevitably lost, but there is an entertaining value to the way they play the premise with what seems to be a straight face.
Perhaps, however, the best thing about this film is that it is able to create suspense as well as comedy, and balance the two side by side so that one never overpowers the other. As you journey for the first time with the team of amatuer journalists you know enough about what is coming up to instil anticipation, but not enough to take the edge off of the taut atmosphere. There's a very legitimate threat to the safety of our protagonists too, as they blundered blindly forward.
The trolls look fantastic. Whilst they are CGI, they are so well done that you are unlikely to give a damn. They sound tremendous too, and the incredible spectacle of these creatures is likely to be lost once the experience is translated onto DVD. They are creative and slightly odd looking, whilst not leaning too heavily on our suspension of disbelief. The wide selection of them keeps you interested in the mythology at work, and as a monster movie, they make a successful one.
Not much in the way of character or plot here, really. The cast are not stock characters and there are plenty of subtle touches scattered throughout, but this is an incredibly simple affair. Come for the humour, the creativity, the spectacle and the experience of watching a different culture reinterpret their own mythology. Expecting a full plot with lots of characterisation would be a mistake. Nonetheless, I think there is more than enough here to justify a watch.