M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved starting with the year I began reviewing the genre officially October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011. I have posted my best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2010 and September 30, 2011 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on October 29, 2010. Available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!

#3 – TROLLHUNTER (2011)

AKA TROLLJEGEREN
Directed by Andre Ovredal
Written by Andre Ovredal
Starring Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Thomas Alf Larsen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Naerum

TROLLHUNTER is one of the most all-around fun found footage films you’ll ever find. Though the concept is pretty out there, everything is played straight as an arrow, as a group of students try to investigate a poacher and stumble onto a secret organization whose purpose is to control and dispose of trolls. And that’s where the beauty of TROLLHUNTER lies.

Norwegian director/writer Andre Ovredal skates the fine line between satire and horror like a pro. Ovredal knows there are a lot of found footage films out there and smartly takes us through the motions seen in most of them. But while the other films are going out of their way to make their film realistic, Ovredal sets his filmed horror in the gorgeous Norwegian hills and valleys which look like something out of a fantasy film. The expansive forests and gigantic mountains look like they house all kinds of wondrous creatures and horrific mysteries and in Ovredal’s film, those rocky hillsides and grassy canyons surely do hide the fantastic.

Most of the charm that TROLLHUNTER exudes comes from the gruff troll hunter himself, Trolljegeren, played by straight-faced Otto Jesperson. Trolljegeren is all business, living a life of solitude, playing by his own set of rules that if strayed from could mean instant death. Trolljegeren’s world is fascinating, from his extensive knowledge of troll culture and physiology to his RV which has an interior lined with troll tails to throw off his scent. The mood Trolljegeren is in is deadly serious, which of course to the student filmmakers and us as viewers, is hilarious. His staunch delivery of lines concerning how to survive a troll attack and insane methods of troll hunting are what makes this film a true gem.

What I love about TROLLHUNTER is that it plays like the best of satires, embracing all of the tropes of the found footage genre and making an original film despite of it. Much more like THIS IS SPINAL TAP and maybe a bit like one of my favorites found footage/mock doc films, INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS, TROLLHUNTER never makes fun of the subject matter. Instead, it places its straight-faced lead into one insane scenario after another with a wide-eyed and disbelieving camera crew on his tail.

TROLLHUNTER is unique in that it points out how silly the genre can be while also adding to it. Relatively bloodless, TROLLHUNTER is one of those films I would have loved to see as a kid; full of giant monsters, brave hunters, cool weapons, and even cooler scenes mixing all three. The effects are absolutely phenomenal. One would think this was a multi-million-dollar film, but I imagine it cost a fraction of that. TROLLHUNTER proves that with some imagination and a whole lot of talent behind the camera, you don’t have to break the bank—you just have to think outside the norm. I give this film my highest recommendation. Absolutely hilarious throughout (even right up to the film’s last beat) and utterly exciting in every way, there aren’t many films like TROLLHUNTER out there. Seek it out!


THE 2010-2011 COUNTDOWN!


#3 – TROLLHUNTER
#4 – I SAW THE DEVIL
#5 – BLACK SWAN
#6 – MUTANTS
#7 – THE SILENT HOUSE
#8 – LET ME IN
#9 – THE REEF
#10 – RED, WHITE, & BLUE
#11 – A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE
#12 – WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
#13 – DOGTOOTH
#14 – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
#15 – KIDNAPPED
#16 – INSIDIOUS
#17 – A SERBIAN FILM
#18 – TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL
#19 – HEARTLESS
#20 – ABSENTIA
#21 – BEREAVEMENT
#22 – RUBBER
#23 – GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
#24 – STAKE LAND
#25 – WAKE WOOD
#26 – LONG PIGS
#27 – HUSK
#28 – YELLOWBRICKROAD
#29 – MONSTERS
#30 – LA HORDE
#31 – THE VIOLENT KIND


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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