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The Snowman – Review

I absolutely love dark Scandinavian crime movies and series. I adored The Millennium Trilogy and would happily watch The Bridge and the original Wallander again. When I first saw the trailer of The Snowman - a movie based on the book by Jo Nesbo, I knew I had to see it.

The Snowman has a great cast that has been led by the excellent Michael Fassbender, playing the flawed but likeable alcoholic detective Harry Hole. Other stars include Rebecca Ferguson, JK Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg and a very old Val Kilmer.

I had incredible high hopes for this movie as Jo Nesbo is a big name in the world of Crime Novels, and the movie has been directed by Tomas Alfredson who also worked on the magnificent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The case is simple: whenever it snows, an elusive sociopath takes pleasure in taunting the police and his victims by building extremely creepy snowmen at the scene of each of his numerous murders. But as the killer grows boring of “killing alone” he tries to get into contact with Harry Hole by leaving him a little message.

Harry Hole is a shit police man. He has an alcohol addiction and hardly ever makes it home without passing out in front of a bar or in the park. He is taken out of his binge drinking existence by the smart detective Katrine Bratt (played by Fergusson) when she takes him to a call she received. This one will get the story roling…

What follows is an intricate plot of murders, taunts, plot twists and snowmen… but all in all the story is weak, the plot is predictable and there are many knots still to be tied.

Although the movie was quite interesting and especially entertaining, in the end it turned out to be a meagre plot, using some of the oldest tricks in the book to introduce the real culprit. I also had the feeling that the police was incredibly incompetent - only putting two people on this case, not connecting the snowmen (I am serious), not connecting the Oslo murders to the ones in Bergen, not connecting certain suicides… and honestly: the list goes on.

[SPOILER SO PLEASE READ THROUGH TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH]

Another thing I absolutely freakin hated about this movie, was the fact that the killer killed Katrin. He had no reason to. She did not fit his pattern. The only problem he had was that she stood in his way. Same with the ‘suicides’. The suicides diverged from his MO. Also: did he not primarily target women? Because taking out men via a completely different MO is just weird, isn’t it? And then the fact that we never knew what was up with that creepy doctor, or with that bald guy and his championship? Where did we get those answers? And in the end: why did he even do it?

[END OF SPOLERS]

The movie was entertaining, but it suffered from the fact that it was an American production. Americans like to spell everything out, whilst I like the fact that Scandinavian crime is smart and a bit of a puzzle for the spectator. This and the fact that the story was hastily ended, that there were questions unanswered and that it felt as if they had to cut 4 hours of movie into 2 hours of film, left me with an unsatisfied feeling.

I am sorry Fassbender, but this is a 2.5/5

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