Watching “The Snowman” is like reading a second hand copy of a novel that’s had its pages ripped out five at a time by the previous owner. Once upon a time there was a coherent story here, and now there are just chunks of one. “The Snowman” is an incomplete botched piece of garbage, it’s the sign of a studio that just didn’t give a crap and a crew that had no choice but to work with what they were given. Tomas Alfredson can’t save what is an inexplicably difficult to follow and watch film that scatters pieces of a puzzle that are woefully incomplete and mixed up.
“The Snowman” shouldn’t be so convoluted, but lo and behold, the writers can’t put the book to the screen with the slightest coherence or competence. A movie with such a stern tone should not be this confusing and funny. Michael Fassbender is terribly miscast as Harry Hole a brilliant detective who happens to be a mean alcoholic on his off time. After a prologue involving a vicious murder, we fast forward to the present where Harry Hole discovers the victim of a snow fondling individual has gone missing. Harry Hole now fears a serial killer from the past may be working again.
Harry Hole then finds out that he has to work with a new recruit who admires Harry Hole, and now Harry Hole has to figure out this case before the killer strikes again. Much to our confusion, “The Snowman” ends up becoming a time shifting crime mystery where we jump back and forth with different characters, including Val Kilmer whose appearance is barely clocking in at cameo standards. “The Snowman” tries very hard to build dread and suspense but fails at every turn, with characters literally just walking around doing absolutely nothing. There’s an immensely drawn out scene involving a snow ball, and one of the characters being stalked—I think—and nothing happens.
Alfredson’s film is so ridiculous that he films the mundane routine of stalking, building up to absolutely nothing. It also doesn’t help that the snow man plot device is poorly cobbled together, coming off very comical and inadvertently stupid when I presume the original intent was to spook people out of their seats. Just the sight of a frowning snow man standing outside of a house in a blizzard felt more like a set up for a joke rather than the calling card of a horrible serial killer. “The Snowman” is an embarrassing movie I can imagine many movie buffs will be hate watching in the near future. It should serve as a primary template on how not to construct a film, and how to piss away a great cast.