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'The Troll Hunters' Playful But Terrifying Concept Art

The concept art for a Norweigian mockmentary on trolls looks cute and cartoony until you see them in the film.

Synopsis: The government says there’s nothing to worry about – it’s just a problem with bears making trouble in the mountains and forests of Norway. But local hunters don’t believe it – and neither do a trio of college students who want to find out the truth. Armed with a video camera, they trail a mysterious “poacher,” who wants nothing to do with them. However, their persistence lands them straight in the path of the objects of his pursuits: trolls. They soon find themselves documenting every move of this grizzled, unlikely hero – the trollhunter – risking their lives to uncover the secrets of creatures only thought to exist in fairy tales

I've combined descriptions from thehollywoodnews and director André Øvredal's comments on Empire.

“I wanted it to be grounded in something Norwegian,” says Øvredal. “And the documentary style was to maximise the potential, because I realised that I can’t do a film like Jurassic Park in Norway. So the first thing I told the producer after I pitched the idea was, ‘We’re going to shoot it as a documentary.’ He immediately saw how that was going to work.”

The tone of the film treads somewhere between horror, comedy and adventure, landing somewhere in unmissable territory. “I didn’t want to make it a comedy, per se, and I didn’t want to make a horror movie where I would alienate the people who went there for an adventure film. I definitely intended it to have a fairy-tale quality.”

"Our artist, Håvard S. Johansen, was working for months on how the trolls were going to look. This is one where we were discussing how far from Norwegian troll mythology do we dare go? This was too far off, but it was fun to play around with."

The Jotnar (or Larde Jutne in Norwegian), though gigantic, is hunched, like an old man.
"This is the final troll in the movie, or the genesis of that. Again, with the trees on his back we were experimenting. This troll is hundreds of years old, so he’s a little stooped over, like an old man."

The ferocious Ringlefinch is missing an arm, apparently the result of some long-ago battle with another troll.
"This is the start of the troll that ended up under the bridge. It has a warrior look — muscular and bullish. The spikes are based on how the stone that is supposed to grow on his back behaves. But we decided it looked too extreme."

The three-headed Tosserlad’s heads are disturbingly grotesque – for the sole reason that the faces are based on those of truly deformed humans.
"I wanted this creature to be quite schizophrenic, in that it wants to go in three directions at once. This is one of the first sketches. It’s based on the drawings of Theodor Kittelsen and the guys who drew these things in the 18th century."

The Mountain Kings (or Dovre Gubbe in Norwegian) are based on the troll characters in Henrik Ibsen’s classic Norwegian play, “Peer Gynt”.
"This one looks like Cousin Itt from The Addams Family! This was the genesis for the trolls in the cave, which were overgrown. We had to develop a shape, then work on the nose, the fur and the facial expressions."

Now check out the terrifying trailer.

The official site is http://trollhunterfilm.com/

Check out more of the artist's work at http://havardjohansen.blogspot.com/ and read his commentary on the creation of the art. They said he took it too far!

Does this art make you scared of trolls?
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Write by: Arek - Thursday, September 8, 2011

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