Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Val Kilmer, Charlotte Gainsbourg
A critic’s take: “Fassbender runs right out into the open during the big showdown, bellows ‘Come on, I'm ready,’ and promptly gets shot. By that point, it makes as much sense as anything else that's happened.” - Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed)
Why it’s bad (meaning good): The poster for The Snowman, the 2017 “thriller” based on a Norwegian novel, features a crudely drawn stick figure snowman that is impossible not to laugh at. That sort of sums up the entire movie’s experience, which wants you to focus on the search for a mysterious serial killer who chops up his female victims but fails miserable, since the movie is hilariously awful.
First of all, the film’s main character, played by Michael Fassbender, is a detective with the name Harry Hole, which is pronounced by other characters exactly the way that it’s written (it’s pronounced differently in Norway). The accents are terrible. Hole is a horrible detective, and should’ve been able to deduce who the killer is literally hours before the movie’s climax. The film’s director, Tomas Alfredson, has since said he didn’t have enough time to film everything that was in the script, so there are just glaring holes in the plot everywhere you look, which is a spectacular admission.
There’s also the issue of the book The Snowman is based off of being the seventh book in a series, meaning The Snowman throws a bunch of characters at you without giving any of their backstories which have been built up over six previous novels. That sounds problematic, and it is.So, yeah, The Snowman is a mess. But it’s a beautiful, hilarious, head-scratching mess featuring a really great cast. And that’s worth a watch on its own.