Can anyone say ADVENTURE?! Because that's what this movie boiled down to, pure, monster inspired adventure. Making the absolute most out of a slightly worrisome (at first, for me anyways) PG-13 rating, trading carnage for suspense set in an epic and very believable world.
I realized while watching this film that outside of the trolls shown in Lord of the Rings and a few other much less remarkable movies, I really haven't seen very many trolls in cinema before. Which was nice going into this one as it made for a clean slate as to what trolls should look and act like. And I really like the direction they took these creations, there was a certain amount of innocence given to them that made them more of an animal than a monster, lending them a sympathetic light while they still retained their intimidation through their sheer size, animal instincts and strength. And the "science" they used to back up these creatures throughout the film was fascinating, creating an even more believable aura to the film, scientifically explaining legend and myth with an ease rarely seen. The subspecies mapping and categorization was great as well, giving them the ability to create and explore many different animals rather than limiting themselves to one or two. On that same note, they did a fantastic job with the cover-up angle as well, wiping away all reason to complain about why the general public is unaware of these behemoths existence.
The film is set as a sort of impromptu documentary shot by students who follow our "trollhunter" under the assumption he is a poacher, and are then waist deep in a land they never even knew existed. And everyone plays their part immaculately.
Now, there are a few minor details that may distract some who watch this film. I know there's a large group of people who aren't fans of the handheld camera films, and the trolls from time to time are obviously CGI, but for me those points became non-issues considering how great the rest of the film was. And personally I don't think this film would have been half as good as it was had it not been shot by handheld.
Small amounts of blood coupled with the presence of CGI usually makes this guy a not so happy camper, but in the case of this film, I've got to give credit where credit is due. Definitely one of the best monster movies of the last ten years, maybe ever.
9/10 detached retinas