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The Snowman: Movie Review

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Thomas Alfredson returns after 6 years away from the director’s chair to helm the big-screen adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s novel, The Snowman. With a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons and Val Kilmer among others, The Snowman seemed poised to be a great film. Yet despite having a fantastic cast, director and source material, The Snowman still fails on every single level.
Michael Fassbender stars as Harry Hole in this murder-mystery about a struggling detective who becomes involved in trying to find a serial killer that targets women and uses a snowman as his calling card. Assisting him is Rebecca Ferguson as Katrine Bratt, a new detective on Harry’s division who has her own hidden agenda as to why she wants to find this killer.
One of the first things I noticed early on was how bad some of the visuals were. Some of the corpses we see in the film looked like they weren’t polished to look as real as possible. Even something as basic as a car driving on a snowy road seemed completely fake. As a whole, The Snowman is very basic and non-creative when it comes to using visuals and seems content with using a few long shots of its snowy scenery from time to time.
There were various plot points that were unnecessary and ended up amounting to absolutely nothing. Rebecca Ferguson’s character is so misused it’s actually laughable. You can tell this exact same story without her character arc in it and it wouldn’t change the story. The time spent on her could have been spent on further developing the protagonist and villain.
Speaking of the protagonist and villain, Michael Fassbender deserves so much better than this. He did the best he could with the role he was given but for whatever reason he is forced to mope around for the vast majority of the film. The subplots surrounding his personal life seem to only be there as a way to make the film longer because they don’t have much significance or even get properly resolved. As far as the villain goes, it’s not very hard to figure out whom they are. Furthermore, their ending is very anticlimactic and comes out of nowhere.
The Snowman is the perfect example of a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be. At times it is a mystery-thriller, but at other times it’s a drama. By the time the film ends you don’t really know what kind of film you actually saw. The editing is messy and tells certain plotlines in an odd way. It doesn’t have a constant pace, going back-and-forth between slow and fast. Removing all of the smaller plotlines that have nothing to do with the main story would have made this film shorter and might have helped with the pacing issues.
Nothing makes me more frustrated than seeing a film waste all of its potential. The Snowman has a great cast, fantastic director and terrific source material, but it still manages to completely miss the mark. On paper, this is an intriguing story about a detective dealing with his own personal issues while also trying to find an elusive serial killer. The problem is that it wasn’t executed properly and the end result is a film that I could not recommend to anyone.

The Snowman (2017)
  Director:  Thomas Alfredson
Studio:  Universal Studios
Genre:  Horror, Crime, Drama
MPAA:  R
Release Date:  October 20th, 2017
Author:  Eddie Lopez
Eddie Lopez Eduardo Lopez grew up in the hot deserts of the Imperial Valley (El Centro, CA) but now resides in San Diego. Eddie is a recent graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in Television, Film, and New Media. He grew up on classic horror movies but loves movies of every genre and every decade. Aside from talking about movies, Eddie enjoys writing screenplays and hopes to one day have one of his scripts made into an actual film.

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