Contrary to the clues in the fairly blunt title, let me just tell you upfront: There is no Troll 1 associated with this movie, and there are no trolls.
You may think that a movie that follows the journey of a family to the noble city of Nilbog (population 26!) for a month of vacation where they intend to be farmers would be boring, but you would be oh-so-wrong, my friend. Because the small boy, Joshua, can see his dead grandfather. And his sister is a body-building, no-nonsense, “It’s me or your stupid friends!” type of girlfriend. And his mother is bland but has good fashion sense. And his Dad has a secret southern accent. And also, the plot revolves around Goblins wanting to eat them.
The thing that’s really interesting and also equally confusing about said goblins is that they’re actually vegetarians. Think about it. Do you see why this is a problem? Instead of eating vegetables, as one would expect, they take painstaking steps to turn humans into plants. Now, if they were living in a desert, for instance, this would make complete sense. After all, they would have to make something to eat. In this movie, however, they live in a forest. They live in a forest amongst acres and acres of vegetation. In fact, in the opening sequence, they are physically tripping over fauna as they chase a human.
It makes no sense. It makes no sense and I honestly can’t wrap my head around it.
How does one explain this movie? Okay. Picture this: you have a son with an overactive imagination. He is seven years old. He has a preoccupation with vegetables. And he displays schizophrenic tendencies. Imagine he wrote a script and that script was Troll 2. The end.
My main criticism of this movie is not the vegetables, because I actually found myself more intrigued than annoyed with the creative nature of the goblins’ culinary creations. My main criticism is of the display of poor parenting that is shown within the plot. I think it’s the most unrealistic part of the whole film—which is saying an awful lot.
The parenting here not only features insensitivity to a childhood trauma (“Banish your grandfather from your mind, but keep him from your soul”), examples of extreme vacationing (A monthlong vacation? Do people even do that anymore?), and evidence of previous child abuse (“Please don’t hit him!”), but there is also a startling lack of discipline.
Spoiler alert: In the most memorable scene of the movie, Joshua must stop his family from eating an unexpected feast because, obviously, it will turn them into plants if they consume it.
To stop them, he decides to pee on the food. Ignore the obvious question of how he had that much urine inside of him, and skip forward to the part where he isn’t punished at all! He is carried to his room, given a stern warning about hospitality (“This is hospitality, and you can’t piss on hospitality! I won’t allow it!”), and that’s it. There is no punishment whatsoever.
Now, as much as I question the other gaping plot-holes that appear in Troll 2, it is this one that absolutely befuddles me. If my child whipped out his penis and relieved himself on a home cooked meal, you had better believe there would have been some kind of consequence. This kind of lax parenting is something I cannot get behind.
In all fairness, there was a good learning lesson somewhere in there, from father to son. Joshua’s father tries to bond with his son by explaining the proper way to combat hunger pains, and then challenges him to a starving contest completely unprovoked.
That’s the kind of workmanship we’re dealing with here. What I’m trying to tell you is that this movie is unmatched in every department. Brilliance: Absolute brilliance.
The severe plot holes (that I somehow didn’t mind), the inexplicable forest music, the Goblin Witch with a severe case of herpes, the way in which I continually questioned whether or not the DVD had skipped, the seemingly impossible magical abilities of the goblins, and the seamless way in which the writers explored both phobia and fetish of everything vegetable, all combined together perfectly in a medley of wonder.
But wait, what happened to that popcorn guy?
We just will never know. And that’s surprisingly alright with us.
Overall, this is the perfect date-night movie for your romantic Halloween rendezvous.