Thanks to Universal Pictures, we had the chance to see ‘The Snowman’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
‘The Snowman’ is a psychological thriller starting Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg and J.K Simmons. The film is an example of Hollywood’s continued interest in ‘Scandi Noir’. Set in Oslo Norway, ‘The Snowman’ centres on the alcoholic, genius Detective Harry Hole (Fassbender). After a string of gruesome murders, Hole and Detective Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) are on the hunt for a psychopathic killer who leaves his calling card (a snowman) with his victims.
Based on the international bestseller and with a stand out cast, ‘The Snowman’ had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the film falls flat on many fronts. Swedish director Thomas Alfredson’s (Tinker Tayler Soldier Spy) has an emphasis on style. This is evidenced through extensive long shots, moments of silence and an overall slow story that ultimately creates a film that is more style over substance
Director Alfredson has recently quoted that 10-15% of the film wasn’t shot due to rushed production. This definitely shows as the film lacks a strong plot and feels chopped and cobbled together in post production.
‘The Snowman’ has some fantastic suspense filled moments and the white, snow bound setting creates amazing visuals. Fassbender and Ferguson are the standouts, saving the film from being a mediocre B grade thriller. The film has too many secondary characters with underdeveloped storylines which detract from the suspense of the film. A clear example was a plot point involving actor J.K Simmons as a business tycoon, at the forefront of a bid for Oslo to host the Winter Olympic Games. This storyline would have been fleshed out in the book but didn’t have the lasting impact intended in the film.
Stylistically the film is similar to ‘The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo’, but unlike that film the underdeveloped plot does not allow the suspense to build. Considering The Snowman’s talented director, excellent cast and quality source material the end result is a major let down.
In Cinemas now