No. Not the Raymond Briggs one, although you might wanna watch that instead… You see, despite seeing this movie a little while ago, I’m still unsure as to how a misfire of such a scale of this could have happened…
This adaptation of author Jo Nesbø’s novel about an alcoholic detective trying to catch a serial killer in the freezing streets of Norway sounds like it could have had the makings of a new Silence Of The Lambs.
A bankable star in Michael Fassbender, a director (Thomas Alfedson) proven in quiet suspense (Let The Right One In, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy) and a solid source novel. It’s seemed a sure fire recipe for a hauntingly chilly thriller with an edge, but what we’ve gotten is a confused and muddled final product, littered with baffling directorial choices and half answered questions that stay with you much longer than the film itself does.
Fassbender phones in his performance with such a lack of conviction you wonder who his mobile provider is.
Rebecca Ferguson fares much better but her character mixes up conflicted with stupid. The killer’s identity is shockingly easy to deduct, mostly due to the casting department doing their job too well and hiring a kid for a flashback who looks exactly like the adult actor perpetrating the deeds. The killer’s motive is ludicrously simple and flat out dumb, therefore making it easy for characters (and the audience) to punch holes in it. I’m still debating with other people who saw the movie whether or not a major character actually died or not (it so unclear the jury’s still out). Why is Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character wearing mini skirts when it’s plainly below zero temperatures out? One character is revealed to have a surprise twin sister for literally no reason I can figure as doesn’t affect the plot one iota. It’s a nice thought to give Val Kilmer an extended cameo but he’s been so ravaged by his regrettable illness, almost all of his dialogue has been rerecorded. Badly.
And if it seems at this point my review is nothing but a random collection of random events clumsily strung together by poor writing, that because that’s exactly how The Snowman feels.
So are there ANY good points?
The gore is good for a laugh, the creepily absurd sight of a severed human head mounted atop the round shoulders of a jolly looking snowman is appropriately out there and the cinematography is gorgeously barren.
Unfortunately, pretty trees and imaginative murder need a strong movie under them otherwise interest simply melts away.
Consider The Snowman somewhat of a two hour thaw point then…