You know the drill by now—whenever a movie that wasn’t made in English happens to find a niche but enthusiastic audience in America, instead of spending some money to promote the original to the rest of the likely xenophobic and apparently illiterate country, Hollywood goes and does an English-language remake set in the US that can be easily digested by even the middlest of Middle Americans. Well, and probably bumpkins in other English-speaking countries as well. We here in the bread belt shouldn’t take all of the blame.
Either way, Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal’s delightful 2010 film Trollhunter has been one of the latest imports planned to get updated with a shiny, new English-language version, and now Deadline has a report that the Christopher Columbus-produced project has found itself a director. According to the trade, England’s own Neil Marshall is being brought on board not just as the guy behind the camera, but also as the guy who’s going to re-write Øvredal’s original script into the likely less Scandinavian mythology-referencing Troll Hunter.
Marshall seems like a good fit for the film at first glance, because the original Trollhunter did a great job of mixing some horror movie tension-building with some out there humor and spectacle-based action, and with The Descent Marshall proved that he understood horror, and with the ‘Blackwater’ episode of Game of Thrones he directed, he proved that he could do spectacle as well. All you need to toss in is a little bit of an ability to juggle tone and create humor and we could very well have a remake just as worth seeing as the original.
Which brings us back to the original. For those who haven’t caught it yet, Øvredal’s Trollhunter was a found footage film about a group of students who take to the woods to investigate a series of mysterious bear killings. While out there they get quite a lot more than they bargained for when they meet an eccentric figure who claims that he’s a troll hunter, and then they come face-to-face with the giant game that he’s been hunting though. Chaos ensues.
Don’t let the words “found footage” scare you here, because Trollhunter made itself instantly better than all other found footage horror films by completely dropping any pretense of being real at all and instead using the format as a means of setting up jokes and stretching the budget for special effects. The movie is a great time. Or, as Columbus put it when it was first announced he was in charge of producing a remake, it’s “a visceral, thrilling, cinematic rock and roller coaster ride of a movie.” Hopefully the same will be able to be said of the remake. Minus that “rock and roller coaster” part.