I don’t remember the last time I saw a movie in theaters and legitimately struggled to stay awake. The Snowman had an interesting premise so one would think that falling asleep wouldn’t even be an option. That is not the case, though. The Snowman is extremely boring and is overall one of the messiest movies of the year. I checked my watch upwards of 10 times and literally couldn’t wait until it was over.
Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Michael Fassbender’s talents are completely wasted with is one-dimensional role of Detective Harry Hole. He is the typical alcoholic, chain-smoking cop that probably deep down is a good man but he’s struggling with his own problems. Rebecca Ferguson plays Katrine Blatt, a new detective in the town of Oslo. Her talents are also wasted on a character with little development. Hole is on a case where a killer is murdering and kidnapping women, killing them, and building snowmen outside of their houses. How the hell he has time to build these snowmen are beyond me, but I guess he’s a killer with some time on his hands. It is hard to tell what kind of killer he is because of the inconsistency of how he kills is victims. At first, I thought he only murdered women and cut off their heads. But then as the movie progresses, he kills men too for some reason. None of this is ever fully explained and it’s simply confusing.
While The Snowman has numerous problems, the two biggest ones are the writing and editing. This is one of the most convoluted plots in recent memory, written in a way where its constant exposition dumps and little to no character development. I don’t even think a script doctor could have saved this screenplay. The editing is messy as well, having some scenes cut in the middle of dialogue. There were so many “what the hell was that?” moments that were just shoved into scenes. During some fight/tussle scenes the editing was very jarring and inconsistent. Overall, this felt like the rough cut of the film and that was honestly the scariest part of The Snowman.
There is no clear direction in The Snowman either. You just kind of get the feeling that a bunch of scenes were just put together. This is a major disappointment from Director Tomas Alfredson. I believe he told Fassbender to look exactly the same way during the entire film. Much of The Snowman came across as comical instead of creepy, and I’m sure this was not the intention of Alfredson. It is so bad that by the time you get to the 3rd act and the killer is revealed, there is no way to even care. The Snowman reminds me of 2016’s The Girl on the Train. They’re both miserable book adaptations that wastes the talents of their actors and filled with messy editing and direction. The Snowman is worse than The Girl on the Train, though. Much worse…
Overall, The Snowman is a complete mess that is destined to melt away into a pool of forgettable films. Fassbender is solid and that is the only somewhat positive thing I can say about it. There were reports of the production being total hell, and it definitely shows for the two-hour runtime of the movie. I want to get a petition going to state that ONLY David Fincher is allowed to direct thriller book adaptations. Between Zodiac, Fight Club, Gone Girl, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, it is more than clear that Fincher has a vision for this genre. He could have made The Snowman as Oscar film. Instead, it is one of the worst films of on 2017 and shouldn’t be seen by anyone.