Troll (1986)

As far as fantasy horror goes, Troll is a quirky, quaint affair. What begins with a little girl visiting oddballs in her apartment building eventually gives way to the twisted troll narrative the title promises. While certainly dark and strange, the film never abandons that child-like eye and sense of innocence. It’s weirdly sweet and nonchalant. As twisted as the imagery gets, it never feels depraved and oppressive but happy, curious, like a kid’s TV show after hours. It helps that the titular troll is such a cute little guy with his happy face. But that too adds to the subversive sense of weird. There’s still something wrong. Parallel to all that, you’ve also got Michael Moriarty bugging the fuck out in the way that only he can do. He’s the David Byrne of 80s actors (barring David Byrne himself of-course) and it’s always a pleasure to watch his choices bulldoze over everything else in a scene.

While not really a major work of its kind, the accomplished effects and Buechler’s handle on the fluctuating tone mean this is certainly a lot better than its notoriously terrible (and completely unrelated) sequel has led many to believe. It stands up there with other adolescent spook films that deal with fringe horrors and diminutive ghoulies. This made me think of The Gate more than once.

Watched on Eureka blu-ray

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