Trolls: the new vampires?

Posted by Glennis Byron on February 01, 2011 in News tagged with , , ,

Painting by John Bauer

Creatures of Norse mythology, trolls are generally represented as very large, very dim, and extremely ugly; in many versions, they eat humans. They probably derive from the Old Norse Jötunn, a race of giant nature spirits. It may, therefore, on first glance seem an unlikely candidate for replacing the vampire in the public’s affections.

Of course, one never knows…

And there is, after all, some precedent for troll/human relationships in Johanna Sinisalo’s Troll: A Love Story (2000). I actually recommend this one for a dose of fantasy weirdness. Here’s the description from Publisher’s Weekly:

A young Finnish photographer makes a pet of an orphaned troll in this strange, sexually charged contemporary folk tale, a hit in Europe. Mikael, nicknamed Angel for his stunning blonde good looks, finds the troll behind some dustbins after a night of drinking, and feels compelled to bring it home (“It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen… I know straight away that I want it”). The troll is small and black, thoroughly wild but also oddly human, with an overpowering, arousing juniper-berry smell. Obsessed by his new companion, whom he names Pessi, Angel sets out to learn everything he can about trolls, which in the novel’s world are a real but extremely rare species. … Sinisalo’s elastic prose is at once lyrical and matter-of-fact, but this is not a comfortable novel. The troll brings out Angel’s animal instincts, representing all the seduction and violence of the natural world. As the troll becomes ever more unmanageable, the sense of doom grows; the ferocious ending is thoroughly unsettling.

Del Toro has a troll film in the works, directed at a younger audience, and there is also André Øvredal’s The Troll Hunter, a mockumentary comedy that was screened at Sundance this year, and it will be interesting to see if this Norwegian film gets UK/US distribution (or a remake). The synopsis: ‘A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.’

Here’s the official trailer – it’s a hoot:

Tiny URL for this post: