‘The Snowman’ (2017, 15)

Is ‘The Snowman’ a Scandi-inspired success or a woeful-winter noir?

Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) returns from his week off AWOL to his job as a detective, to find a missing persons enquiry on his desk. When a mother disappears, out-of-the-blue, and an ominous-looking snowman is left outside her house, Hole must go back and uncover a cold case and piece together the puzzle to find out where the links are — and who’s left the snowman, before the suspected serial-killer leaves more.

I’ll start with the good points of this movie — the cast all give very strong performances, and Fassbender was very good in his lead role. Also, the bleak Norwegian landscape made for some epic exposition shots.

However, the film goes a bit downhill from there.

The most notable disappointment was the plot: I’ve head the source material was very strong, though I never read Jo Nesbø’s novel myself, though I feel the story of ‘The Snowman’ lacked… a spark. Nothing really happened, it seemed, until the closing acts of the film. Don’t get me wrong, the film wasn’t boring, but I never felt there was any tension building throughout the viewing, so the climax was… anti-climactic.

There’s also a couple of unnecessary sub-plots in the film which don’t really have any meaning and aren’t that useful except to take away from the main story. Their main purpose is too flesh out the characters but, to me, this isn’t the sort of film where character development is key — a twisting, turning plot is what makes a great thriller, not a backstory of the protagonist detective. And that’s another thing: these sub-plots are used to try and make a twist-ending, but (to me, at least) the big-reveal became reasonably predictable.

Overall, ‘The Snowman’ is quite an average film. It’s got a bit of a bloated plot and lacks pace and ‘umph’, yet is still engaging to watch. The cast’s strong performance and the film’s stunning imagery makes this film deserve a six-out-of-ten.



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