Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Review: "The Snowman" (2017)

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Detectives Harry Hole and Katrine Bratt investigate a series of missing person cases, which soon evolves into a homicide investigation.

We love a good whodunit crime thriller. The mystery of it all, the twists and turns, the shocking reveal, these elements are what we hope to witness while watching worthwhile and well-made thrillers. When we first heard about "The Snowman," we were immediately drawn in by its fantastic cast, including Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloë Sevigny, and J.K. Simmons.  Plus, we saw that the movie was being directed by Tomas Alfredson, who directed one of our favorite vampire horrors of all time, "Let the Right One In." Needless to say, we were pretty excited for this flick. This movie, much like "The Dark Tower" from earlier this year, drops viewers in the center of this already established franchise and is based on the seventh book in the Harry Hole detective series written by Jo Nesbø.

Poorly named protagonist aside, the movie starts off decently enough. The story follows Harry Hole, played by Fassbender, as he investigates some missing person cases that soon become connected homicide cases. Each of these incidents involves a serial killer who leaves a Snowman at the scene of every crime. Good ol' Harry Hole is partnered up with Katrine Bratt, played by Ferguson, who aids in the investigation but seem a little too personally invested in the outcome. About 20 or so minutes in, we noticed the story and movie as a whole started to drag on and on and on, and it only goes downhill from there.

There are movies like "Geostorm" and/or "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" that are incompetent on every level. We're talking from the technical aspects to the poor directing, from the subpar acting to the writing, right down to the way the story's elements fall into place. Then, there are movies like "The Snowman," which have relatively good acting and are well shot but are so poorly written and so sloppily and lazily put together that it almost makes it a less forgivable project. This movie had all of the components to make what should have been a successful film. Fassbender, Ferguson, and Simmons do well with what they have (despite Simmons' not-so-great accent), but even though it is pretty to look at, it fails to come together in any meaningful way.

The biggest failure is its ending. In any movie with a twist, part of the goal is to get the audience to be surprised, but to also make them say, "oh yeah, that makes so much sense, how did I miss that?!" Movies that accomplish this include the likes of "The Usual Suspects," "The Sixth Sense," "The Prestige," and even horror movies like "Saw." "The Snowman," however, has an ending that comes so far out of left field that we were not shocked or in awe of it, we were simply left confused, baffled, and angry with how the writers and director thought they could get away with such a shitty ending. This is not to say it is complex to follow, but nothing in the entire span of the movie could have led us in that direction at all. At one point, I looked over to BigJ and said, "could this person be the killer? They wouldn't do that, right??" LO AND BEHOLD, I GOT ONE RIGHT! The murders could have been a conspiracy between Ronald McDonald and Barney the dinosaur and it would have made just as much sense as the ending for "The Snowman." Seriously, the killer could have literally been a snowman and it would have been more satisfying than the conclusion we got. It thinks it's sooooo smart when really, it's just plain stupid because NO CLUES GET GOT.

No amount of good acting or halfway decent directing can make a movie like this acceptable. On top of being maddeningly idiotic, "The Snowman" is also one of the most boring, tedious, asinine films we've seen in 2017. What a freakin' waste.

**Did you know we have a podcast? Check out the episode where we discuss "The Snowman" right here! Our review starts at 39:23!

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~8%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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