A disaster of avalanche proportions

‘The Snowman’ fails to hold shape

After killing his victims, the killer builds a snowman out of his victims amputated limbs. If Universal decided to build on this more and feature more snowmen, the film may have turned out better.

Universal Pictures

After killing his victims, the killer builds a snowman out of his victims amputated limbs. If Universal decided to build on this more and feature more snowmen, the film may have turned out better.

Brock Spence, Staff Writer

I never thought any movie could compare to the atrocity that was “The Emoji Movie,” and yet “The Snowman” managed to. This highly-anticipated thriller is anything but thrilling. Hold onto your hats, because this review is going to get ugly.

Set in Norway, “The Snowman” follows the story of alcoholic detective Harry Hole and his partner as they investigate the befuddling case of the Snowman killer. Universal Pictures marketed “The Snowman” as a whodunit/slasher flick with a series of clues that help catch the killer. The reality is that there were no clues, there were hardly any murders, and “mister police” should not have reasonably been able to save anyone.

For a film whose advertisements boasted its mystery, the lack of any real clues whatsoever is appalling.”

— Staff Writer Brock Spence

The first ten minutes of “The Snowman” are really telling for the rest of the film. In a cringe-worthy and confusing prologue with an unnecessary sex scene, a boy’s mom drowns herself while her son happened to build a snowman. I guess the audience is expected to believe that since he built a snowman on her death day, that is adequate motivation for turning his victims into snowmen, but this is ridiculous and lazy storytelling.

Our protagonist, Hole (Michael Fassbender), falls into the tried and boring mold of a distressed law-man who solves his problems by losing himself in a can of beer, and that is really all there is to him. His partner Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) has a little more depth than Hole, but still not enough to compensate for the lack of character development overall. Throughout the entire two-hour-long film only the murderer showed any signs of character development, despite barely being featured in the film.

Worse than the characters is the confusing game of Jenga that Universal tries to play off as a plot. Even ignoring the mess of backstories, which are even more confusing when the film jumps into the past without letting the audience know, the plot makes absolutely no sense. Every twenty minutes another random suspect with little to no introduction appears, and the current suspect is subsequently thrown out of the narrative. For a film whose advertisements boasted its mystery, the lack of any real clues whatsoever is appalling.

There were simply too many things with “The Snowman” that did not work in order to save this film, the most glaring being the lack of character development, mystery, and snowmen (dead snowmen, there were plenty regular snowmen). While this story worked well on paper in Jo Nesbo’s best-selling crime thriller of the same name, the film was an utter flop.

Although the film was awful, the conclusion to the film was nearly redeemable as the “mystery” came to a close with a high-strung action scene. Overall, I rate Snowman one coal eye out of five snowmen. The plot was confusing, the extended shots of nature were more interesting than the characters, and the mystery was impossible to follow. If you were hoping for a mystery/horror film, I would advise you to re-watch “Scream” instead.  At least it has dynamic characters and a compelling mystery.