Troll: 11 Thoughts I Had While Watching The Netflix Movie

Monster from Troll
(Image credit: Netflix)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains explicit details from the entire plot of Troll, so unless you have already seen the Netflix movie, you might want to take cover and proceed with caution.

I had a feeling that Troll — in which a giant mythical creature wreaks havoc on Norway — would end up being a trending hit on Netflix following its early December debut. Now, having seen the new original Netflix movie from director Roar Uthaug (an appropriate choice to helm such a project by name alone), I would say it deserves all the attention it has gotten and, furthermore, is one of the more satisfying and thought-provoking films to come out of monster movie genre (or disaster movie genre) in a long time. See for yourself by taking a look at this breakdown of what went through my head as I watched it, starting at the beginning.

Troll Peaks from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

I Love The Way The Movie Establishes Its Folklore Roots 

It’s no surprise a movie called Troll is inspired by fairy tales, but the way it introduces that theme in the opening flashback is a visual treat. Ine Marie Willmann’s lead protagonist, Nora Tidermann (played here as a child by Ameli Olving Sælevik), is climbing the Troll Peaks of Romsdalen with her father, Tobias (Gard B. Eidsvold), who reminds her about a legend suggesting the mountains are really a group of trolls turned to stone when caught in direct sunlight. 

After Tobias convinces his daughter that “believing is seeing” instead of the other way around, she begins to see the faces of said creatures in the surrounding rock formations, giving us the film’s first epic shot, in my opinion, and establishing everything you need to know about the story going in.

Blurry image of the troll from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

Of Course The First Sight Of The Troll Is A Blurry Still Photo

Indeed, the titular creature in Troll does come out of a mountain when awakened by a construction crew blowing out chunks of it to make a railroad tunnel, but the first time we actually get to see any real sign of it comes from amateur footage caught on a cellphone camera. However, you can only make out the creature so much in one blurry frame of the video that calls to mind photos of Sasquatch. This also marks our first essential monster movie cliché.

Tea ripples from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jurassic Park Reference Alert! 

Our second essential monster movie cliché comes seconds later when Troll pays direct, unmistakable homage to the Jurassic Park movies, as a couple is warned of the creature’s impending attack on their home when ripples form in a cup of tea. Some might be quick to balk at the idea of re-using one of the 1993 classic’s most iconic images, but I think even Steven Spielberg would feel flattered by how it updates the concept for a new generation and a new culture.

Troll cast

(Image credit: Netflix)

I Love When A Disaster/Monster Movie Has Likable Characters

The main heroes of our story are the aforementioned paleontologist Nora Tidermann, the Norwegian Prime Minister’s advisor Andreas Isaksen (Kim Falck), military captain Kristoffer Holm (Mads Sjøgård Petterson), and Tobias —  each of whom I personally found very charming, believable, and thoroughly entertaining. This made Troll an especially refreshing experience for me as it had been a long time since I gave a damn about any of the human characters in this kind of movie, to be honest.

Troll's eye from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Troll Disguising Itself As A Mountain Was A Great Reveal

Also refreshing was how the titular troll first made itself known to the central characters, who, in one key scene, thought they were just standing next to a simple mountain the whole time. However, when the “mountain” opens its eye, revealing that it has really been the creature in disguise, my excitement was through the roof.

Gard B. Eidsvold in Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

I Had A Feeling The Character Everyone Thinks Is “Crazy” Would Be The Smartest

Every disaster or monster movie has one character who is believed to be mentally unstable, but turns out to be the one everyone should have listened to in the first place, such as Randy Quaid’s alien abductee Russell Casse in Independence Day. The Russell of Troll is Tobias, who proves to be a bonafide expert on the creature — from predicting that attacking him with gunfire and explosions would “just [piss] him off” to knowing that it can pick up the scent of Christian blood before a praying soldier is promptly eaten. Just as I suspected, even after his tragic death, his knowledge would guide the humans to victory by the end of the film.

The troll from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

Oh, So The Troll Is Not Really The Villain Here

On second thought, “victory” is not quite the right word here because it eventually becomes clear that the troll is not really out for blood. He is just confused by this new world he has woken up in after being trapped under a mountain for who knows how long, lonely from being the last of his kind (or so it seems), and misunderstood by arrogant, trigger-happy humans. In other words, this is Norway’s version of the King Kong movies, right down to the bittersweet conclusion (but more on that later).

Skull from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

I Would Have Liked A Better Explanation For How They Got That Skull In The Truck Bed

Near the end, Nora and Andreas attempt to lure the troll away from the city of Oslo by hauling the skull of a child-sized troll found under the Royal Palace in the back of a pickup truck. While Nora does request the help of the Royal Palace guards, we never actually see how they managed to lift this giant hunk of cranial bone off the ground and place it into the truck bed. I’m the kind of filmgoer who is willing to forgive a lot of things, but leaving us in the dark on that detail was a little disappointing.

Mads Sjøgård Petterson in Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

They Even Got Themselves An Independence Day-Style Speech

Tobias’ similarities to Russell Casse is not the only way that Troll also pays homage to Independence Day. Captain Kristoffer has his own Bill Pullman moment while giving fellow soldiers a rousing pep talk during a pivotal stage in Nora’s plan. Admittedly, it is a little cheesy and not entirely necessary, but delivered with enough genuine vigor to feel somewhat earned and memorable.

Troll turns to stone in Toll

(Image credit: Netflix)

That Was One Of The More Unique Monster Defeats I Have Seen

Nora’s plan to take down the troll is luring it where they can shine enough UV light to turn him into stone — just like in the fairy tale from the opening scene. However, she has a last minute change of heart and shuts down the lights begging him to just go home, but he gets caught in actual sunlight instead and topples over as he transforms into a large pile of rock. I was happy to see Troll end in a way that — not only is faithful to the creature’s lore — but does not rely on a nuclear explosion or a fight against a different monster.

Mid-credits scene from Troll

(Image credit: Netflix)

Bring On The Sequel!

However, it turns out that there is another troll in their midst, as a mid-credits scene reveals, opening up the possibility for a follow-up. Producer Kristian Strand Sinkerud told What’s on Netflix that there are “ambitions to make a sequel and perhaps two sequels,” and, considering Troll’s popularity, that seems very likely. I, for one, would love to see more of this world, as long as Uthaug and company can craft something a little more original out of it.

However, in spite of its, overall, awfully familiar narrative, this movie is still a refreshingly fun and entertaining popcorn flick that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys films of this kind. You can stream Troll on Netflix to see how you feel about it — and see if you want a sequel — now.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.