By: Oberst von Berauscht –
Michael Fassbender is Harry Hole, an alcoholic Norwegian Homicide investigator lost in the depths of his own addiction. He is invigorated when a serial killer starts directly targeting him with messages. The killer’s M.O. is to target mothers who for one reason or another are morally upsetting, building snowmen around the scene of the crime. Harry teams up with rookie homicide detective Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), who seems to be a little too personally involved…
Michael Fassbender tries… and tries hard to make this film work. His performance deserves a better movie. The same can be said for Director Tomas Alfredson, who seems to be struggling to hold a sinking ship together. Alfredson and Cinematographer Dion Beebe do manage some wonderful shots of the snow-swept landscapes both in the city and rural areas. This is a film with zero brain activity being kept alive with machines that are a marvel of science, but not enough for any kind of acceptable recovery.
Considerably less depressing than reality though…
Fortunately for film fans with a love for Irony, The Snowman is far from a total loss. This is without a doubt one of the most incoherently thrown together major Hollywood productions since Winter’s Tale. Destined perhaps to be shown in film classes as a warning to young filmmakers. Rumors of the film’s rushed production schedule have crafted a movie that must have been impossible to properly edit, as the movie was cut together by Academy Award winning editors Claire Simpson and Thelma Schoonmaker. Large swaths of story were reportedly excised, not because the film itself was cut down, but because they weren’t given the time to shoot the whole script. And try as you might, not even an Oscar-caliber editing team can edit something that wasn’t filmed.
“All the clues” must have been left off the shooting schedule
It is sadly obvious that Val Kilmer’s recent illness affected this movie. His role seems heavily cut down to what amounts to 4 or 5 brief scenes. Kilmer wasn’t this film’s problem, and in fact his gaunt look benefits the film since his character is supposed to be a hopeless alcoholic. But the way filmmakers decided to edit him around the rest of the film is… bizarre to say the least. His voice is totally re-dubbed by an actor who seems cast to sound as little like Kilmer as possible. The ADR is so poor that the one time you see Kilmer’s mouth move while speaking, the dialogue is completely out of sync. Scenes that are supposed to be dark and brooding instead brought out laughter from the audience.
The final twist of the movie which reveals the killer is neither shocking nor in the least compelling. Mostly because the movie opens with a sequence that gives you everything you need to know to guess the killer in the very first scene in which you meet him. This leaves the attempt at a red herring feeling spectacularly half baked.
Just Kidding Simmons…
The scariest character in the movie is one particular child actor whose behavior, and the way her dialogue is presented, is more unsettling than the most gruesome murder sequences. Being a child actor, I won’t call her out by name, other than to say that she’s responsible for several jump scares. The plasticine adorability she gives off in the film signals a child who escaped from a cloning machine down at central casting.
Even the snowmen emote more convincingly.
While I haven’t read the screenplay, I would be shocked if this many talented people were attracted to the parade of serial killer film clichés this becomes. Beginning with a pint of Dragon Tattoo was a fine way to kick it off, but chasing it with a few shots of The Bone Collector might have been the wrong decision.
Still languishing in the bargain bins of many a Wal-Mart…
The perfect garbage fire to warm yourself up with this Halloween season
The Snowman (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for terrible dubbing
Take a Drink: for ridiculous plot twisting
Take a Drink: weird edits
Do a Shot: inappropriately placed pop music