The Snowman

The Snowman

In Theatres: 
Oct 20, 2017
Running Time: 
119 minutes

The Snowman is a mystery crime thriller that is neither mysterious nor thrilling. Uninteresting characters and an incoherent plot make it one of the most disappointing movies of the year, and in a year that includes The Book of Henry that’s saying something. Seemingly doomed from the start by a rushed filming schedule and somewhere between 10-15% of the script remaining unshot, not even Tomas Alfredson, the director behind such fantastic films as Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, could salvage this mess. The film itself is the real crime here.


Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is an alcoholic and doesn’t really work well with other people, but he’s also the best crime scene investigator in Oslo. When women start to go missing, Harry manages to connect the dots and discover something that they all have in common, leading to the discovery of a serial killer known as ‘The Snowman’ who leaves creepy looking snowmen at the scene of his crimes. He partners up with a new recruit assigned to the case, Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), in the hopes of catching this killer before he strikes again.


The Snowman is a series of seemingly random scenes compiled together that vaguely attempt to tell a story about catching a serial killer. There are no breadcrumbs that lead you from one clue to the next, however, as audiences are left with jumbled up puzzle pieces that don’t fit together. There’s no mystery. Something happens and Harry almost instantaneously knows what to do next. Rinse and repeat until the film is over. There’s also a random side-plot involving J. K. Simmons that goes nowhere. Whether this was supposed to be a misdirection, I don’t know, because the film does such a poor job at highlighting what should be important. Further confusion comes from flashbacks involving Val Kilmer, who is just terrible as detective Gert Rafto with an awful and distracting dubbed voice over. It’s unnecessary too because he scenes could have been cut from the film and not much would have changed with its story. With crime thrillers, it’s the little details that sell the film. With The Snowman, there are none.


There is no cat and mouse game like the trailers portray. Harry simply stumbles from one crime scene to the next. There’s no reason to care about the killer or his motives because he doesn’t have any, at least none that audiences can clearly decipher. Any sort of reveal is met with a lackluster sigh. There is no set up so ultimately there is no payoff as well. The Snowman is nothing more than a waste of its source material and its cast.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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