Is Netflix’s Troll a horror movie?

By Louie Fecou
Published: December 2, 2022 (Last updated: December 12, 2023)

Is Netflix’s Troll a horror movie? We discuss the popular Netflix film and its potential genre and vision by the director.

Troll is a film by Norwegian director Roar Uthaug. Roar is a consistently working director that has had a long filmmaking career spanning lots of different genres, including slasher horror flicks and disaster movies. He had a real mainstream hit when he was hired to direct the reboot of Tomb Raider in 2018, but despite some good reviews and a decent box office, the franchise failed to launch, and Lara has been in limbo ever since. However, Roar is back with another fantasy offering called Troll. The question, though, is what exactly is this film about, and what kind of film is it?

What is the movie Troll about?

Written by Espen Aukan, Troll is the story of a group of scientists, including paleontologist Nora Tidemmanthat and a soldier called Kris, who discover that a mythical creature has awoken and is embarking on a trail of destruction as it makes its way toward Oslo. The mythic monster seems to be a force of incredible power, and it appears that nothing can stand in its way. With its legacy being found in the ancient folklore of Norway, the answer may lie in an old verse that is connected to the beast. “Made of earth and stones. A snowclad heart and icy bones. From darkness, they rose. In sunlight, they froze.” The team must find a way to stop the Troll’s rampage before it begins to destroy the entire country.

How does the Troll movie end?

Major spoilers discussed here

There is an oddly bittersweet ending to Troll, as is often the case with big monster movies. Just like King Kong and Godzilla, the writer here has opted to elicit some emotional resonance with the final defeat of the Troll King.

Of course, there is a rocky road to a final resolution, and failed attempts include a military-style attack and a more unconventional use of church bells, but of course, the real strategy was revealed in the ancient verse, and it seems that Trolls do not like the sunlight.

With the revelation that these mythical creatures used to walk the land, a secret that was covered up by the government, a plan is hatched to dispatch the Troll King with UV lights from tanning beds.

Meanwhile, Oslo has been evacuated, and it seems as if the powers that be, want to just nuke the whole city in an attempt to stop our Troll King. Luckily this approach is stopped, and the Troll is lured to its final demise in the rising sun over Norway. Andreas and Nora though, have had second thoughts about their plan, and we are left wondering of this was truly the last of the Trolls.

Is Netflix’s Troll a horror movie?

This depends on what you consider horror, and I suppose a gigantic stone Troll could be considered as a horror. The Troll King is indeed a terrifically designed creature, and there are some scary moments with it, including some of the early attacks by the Troll before we get a full reveal.

Tension builds, as it should in these types of films, with sightings and giant footprints, all filmed in the bleak and desolate Norwegian countryside. When a giant eyeball opens behind our characters, it is a chilling and almost classic piece of monster movie magic, and the ensuing visuals are indeed gripping.

King Kong is referenced in the movie, and you can’t help but get the feeling that Roar Uthaug has invested a lot of care and love into this project. There are some lighter moments too, and the screenplay moves into more traditional monster territory in the third act, but I guess that you could consider Troll to be a horror movie.

The film has a 12 certificate in the UK, so there isn’t any gore that should worry a general audience, making Troll a scary movie that maybe the whole family can enjoy.

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