When trailers for Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s best selling novel-turned-movie, The Snowman, started circulating, it set a thrilling tone for an October release. A fictional crime/drama (in the vain of 90’s thrillers like Seven and Kiss The Girls), based off an internationally best selling novel, flashing original and gruesome murder scenes by a serial killer calling himself “The Snowman”. Sounds epic! And a great premise for a seasonal movie – Halloween is around the corner and the wintery Holiday season proceeds it. In the winter, snowmen are vapid ornaments on snow-covered terrain everywhere, but the snowmen in this film are not the “jolly happy souls” we’re accustomed to.

The chilling opening scene, along with the breathtaking cinematography of Norwegian landscapes, are the literal highlights of the entire film. Allow me to cut to the chase because I’m not getting the 2 hours I spent shuffling in my seat back. All this movie did was make me not want to visit Olso in the winter, as beautiful as it may be. I thought winters in Toronto were bad…

Directed by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), The Snowman is a cross examination of itself, veering far away from writer Jo Nesbø’s manuscript and into a slow-paced revamp featuring pretty snow and headless bodies.

Currently holding an 11% Critics Score on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences are torching the ice balls right off this thing. Even the director admits they missed the mark explaining to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (translated by The Independent), “We didn’t get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing. It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture.”

Alfredson added the green-light to commence shooting came “very abruptly,” and “about 10-15 percent of the screenplay wasn’t even filmed.” The Snowman is slapped together and lopsided – you can tell when you’re watching it. Even the snowmen were incomplete! A snow body is compiled of three snowballs, not two. Everybody knows that!

One of the selling points for this film was its star, the delectable Michael Fassbender (X-Men, Prometheus, 12 Years A Slave), who’s known for his acting chops and good looks. Even he couldn’t save this avalanche of disappointment. His character, Harry Hole (yes, you read that correctly), is not nearly as believable as he is in the book, and between his lack of connection with the rest of the characters to his 10 second topless scene, Harry Hole isn’t going down in film history as one Fassbender’s better characters. His worst, probably. Years from now people are going to check his Filmography on IMDB and think The Snowman was a porno he starred in playing Harry Hole. Ever heard of a snow job? Now that, I’d watch more than once.

A randomly placed Val Kilmer (are those prosthetics?), a dishevelled (and dismembered) Chloë Sevigny, and a Harvey Weinstein-esque creep (eerily named Arve Stop) played by J.K Simmons, all help make this motion picture an uncomfortable experience comparable to frostbite.

I’ll admit the first half-hour had me intrigued – I jumped at least three times – but the trailer gives away all of the grotesque imagery and action. The rest is intricately woven like the pattern on a snowflake. Only this one isn’t very special.

Soon the snow will come and then he will kill again!

The Snowman? More like This Blows, Man!

Watch The Trailer.


About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.