The Hunt for Gollum is delightful fan film in the spirit of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The tone and pace of it work surprisingly well.
To be sure, there are some bad notes in the work: the camera pauses tensely on shots of misty, dimly lit forests before some ominous thing jumps out of nowhere, and there are a few awkward scenes that remind you that you are watching a low-budget film, but these moments made me realize that I was being drawn in more than I had expected to. More often than not, this little movie captured the epic look and feel of Peter Jackson’s vision.
The years are starting to stack up since New Line Cinema’s The Return of the King and it struck me more than once while watching The Hunt for Gollum how hungry fans are for films that capture the vision and spirit of Jackson’s (or Tolkien’s) Lord of the Rings. The upcoming Hobbit film has been mired for years now in studio machinery and legal considerations involving the Tolkien Estate. There is too much money to be lost on a movie franchise that just happens to know how to inspire us. It inspired these 100+ fans to invest their time and energy into a cinematic landscape that was worth exploring further. Computer software being what it is today, it is possible to edit films to a fairly high quality, if this film is any evidence (the director, Chris Bouchard, says that this film had a budget of £3,000).
If they don’t make these movies for us, we’ll just have to make them ourselves.