By Jorge Aldaco
“The Snowman” failed to present itself as a crime thriller film with an edge of horror. The trailers are misleading, building up tension that doesn’t exist in the movie.
The film takes place in Oslo, Norway, where Harry Hole, played by Michael Fassbender, is a special unit detective in the city’s police department. Heavily revered, he runs into Katrine Bratt, played by Rebecca Ferguson, who had seen cases done by Fassbender’s character.
Prior to the winter season which is fast approaching in Norway, a missing mother and a grisly murder come up and both Hole and Bratt must find out who is behind them and why they are happening.
The murderer’s calling card is a snowman, which is present at each crime scene.
The film is set within the cold city of Oslo, a perfect location for crimes. The location was a great opportunity to build an atmosphere of bleakness and even horror.
The cold environment offers the killer to use to his advantage, but the lack of direction in the filmmaking did not take the opportunity.
The lead cast, especially Fassbender, have an extensive filmography background. Director Tomas Alfredson has a small list of films that, regardless of number, have been acclaimed positively. Such as “Let the Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
With an experienced cast and a good director, it is upsetting to realize that the film lacked so much and did poorly in storytelling.
The weakest aspect of the film were the back-stories and subplots. The film takes the audience in many directions and gets incredibly difficult to follow at times.
Side plots, such as Hole’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend, and their son seemed forced and unnecessary.
The backstory and flashbacks of the killer’s origins are drawn out, and the audience ends up not fearing him and his psychotic ways.
The film touched on aspects of horror but did not get anywhere near it. A creepy snowman as a symbol of murders, a snowy city, an investigator that’s an insomniac and alcoholic all are good elements for a horror crime film.
The movie never got close to it and the audience will wish for it to happen. Past the first-hour mark, all hope is lost.
“The Snowman” is rated R for grisly images, violence, some language, sexuality,and brief nudity.