THE SNOWMAN (NETFLX) (2017)
SYNOPSIS: In snow-swept Norway, a damaged star detective follows a trail of dead bodies and sinister snowmen in search of a serial killer.
Based on the novel by renowned Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbø,The Snowman is a psychological crime thriller that looks absolutely gorgeous to the eyes but fails to deliver anything beyond that.
Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is an insomniac, shabby looking detective who has a son with his ex-girlfriend, Rakel (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is now attached to a successful plastic surgeon, Mathias (Jonas Karlsson). Besides that, Harry clearly has a troubled past but it’s not explicitly stated except the fact that he was actually quite a decorated police officer. Anyway, he is paired up shortly with a new partner from Bergen, Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson) to investigate a series of missing persons and grisly deaths.
As the deaths piled, the clues lead the duo to a business tycoon, Arve Stop (J.K. Simmons) and a certain doctor Vetlesen. As Hole slowly discovers, all the cases have only one single similarity: the presence of a snowman and ultimately, it could also be a link to Katrine’s past.
The Snowman started quite intriguingly with a prologue that involved a mother committing suicide leaving his young son an orphan. Then it opens with Harry Hole, a character that bizarrely behaves he is in deep depression than investigating murders that deal with decapitation and bloody suicides. Fassbender is a talented actor for sure but his portrayal of Hole simply lacks any enthusiasm to cheer for his character.
The biggest problem of course is the script which is completely muddled, dreary and unnecessarily confusing. Character liked Arve Stop acts nothing to the final product. The same goes to the appearances of Val Kilmer and Toby Jones as fellow detectives who has very little screentime to make an impact.
Spoilers ahead! Chloe Sevigny plays a chicken farmer who also has a twin sister and meets a grisly death five minutes later. It’s definitely more or less a redundant move or probably liked what director Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In, Tinker Tailor Sailor Spy) mentioned, it’s a rushed production resulting in parts of the script being unfilmed. Perhaps Sevigny’s character is an accomplice of the killer after all. Just saying.
Let’s not even delve into the in-depth motive of the killer when the twist is finally revealed in the end. Lacking any real thrill and suspense, The Snowman just feels meh. At least Seven was both haunting and captivating on every account. The Nordic icy landscapes which are a rare sight in Hollywood movies is a small bonus however.
Review by Linus Tee