The Snowman

Directed By: Thomas Alfredson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jonas Karlsson, J.K. Simmons, Val Kilmer, David Dencik, Toby Jones, Chloë Sevigny, James D’Arcy, et. al.
Rated: PG-13
Grade: C-

As the first snowfall of the year hits Oslo, women begin disappearing from their homes, only to be found later having been murdered and gruesomely displayed. Homicide detective Harry Hole, who has been contacted by the perpetrator, races against time as more women go missing, eventually being found murdered, all the while attempting to battle his own personal demons.

Normally when a book, or series of books, is turned into a movie, they start with the first in the series, which isn’t what happened here. Instead, we’re dropped into the middle of a universe with little to no explanation as to what’s going on with the characters, resulting in a movie that’s choppy, strangely paced, and has characters and subplots that seem to go nowhere. There are also, apparently, a number of flashback sequences that are presented as real time, including an entire character who is revealed to be long dead, despite appearing in what seem to be present day scenes. Despite the movie taking place in Norway, the standard of using an English/British accent in place of anything foreign is used, with the handful of American actors using some muddled hybrid of vaguely British and vaguely Scandinavian.

There aren’t any obvious special effects beyond some practical uses of severed limbs and blood spatter. The background filler isn’t really noticeable

This movie could, and should, have been better than it was. Nearly all of the actors involved are known talents, but most of them are underutilized here. Those involved in post production also should have spent a little more time trying to create a comprehensive story, instead of the rambling mess we were given. Unless you really want to watch this, it would probably be best left to waiting until you don’t have to pay, as it likely won’t be worth the cost.

The Snowman isn’t available free to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.

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