This Is Spinal Tap! The Blair Witch Project. Cloverfield. All these have taken the form of documentary and imprinted it to a level where, regardless of whether you love them or loathe them, have influenced, or will inspire countless other film makers.
Now, that rank has a new challenger with the mix of documentary and lost footage combined to reveal to the world that our ideas of fairytales are not so fantastical after all...
After so many attempts to convince audiences about "found footage" films, The Troll Hunter's beginning scrawl will most likely be met with a weary sigh from some viewers as it explains the never-be-seen- before discovery and debates regarding its authenticity that have raged since its airing. It all feels like familiar stuff until about 25 minutes into it.
Then the unmistakable non-US humour kicks in with the off-beat slant that all you can remember about trolls is actually real. You'll be surprised at how much you know about them as the amateur film makers document the various encounters before the inevitable occurs.
What helps is that the trait of annoying "camera crew" has been largely abolished by creating a great focus for the lens and sound mike - the Troll Hunter himself. His matter-of-fact attitude and weary dry sense of humour keep your mind off the sometimes whiny students. His outfit for one troll encounter looks like a cross between Monty Python And The Holy Grail and The A-Team. That, combined with using 3 billy goat gruffs tied to a bridge to lure out a nasty troll are what gives it the edge of the other fake footage finding films - laughs over scares.
That's not to say that it's without tension. The effects are remarkable and hold up well on the big screen and the "smelling of a Christian" problem does help to draw out some shredded nerves whilst caught in a cave (but then also brings out the biggest laugh regarding instead a Muslim - "Will that be a problem?" "Don't know... we'll find out.") They even manage to show regret for the creatures that are being systematically driven to extinction by the government with its fake electricity pylons doubling up as huge electric fences and a callous slaughter involving female and children trolls.
Not what you're probably expecting and delivering exactly what is says in the title, it's another rare foreign film treat that should be seen before the Hollywood remake tramples all over its Norwegian charm and loses it a flurry of big budget CGI and Yank-isms. You may not believe in them but you'll want to by the end credits roll.
UK release date: 09.09.11