The Snowman

Soon the first snow will fall and the hunt for a killer begins
Soon the first snow will fall and the hunt for a killer begins


D: Tomas Alfredson

Universal/Working Title/Perfect World/Another Park (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo & Peter Gustaffson)

UK 2017

119 mins


W: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan & Søren Sveistrup [based on the novel "Snømannen" by Jo Nesbø]

DP: Dion Beebe

Ed: Claire Simpson & Thelma Schoonmaker

Mus: Marco Beltrami

Michael Fassbender (Harry Hole), Rebecca Ferguson (Katrine Bratt), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Rakel Fauske), Val Kilmer (Gert Rafto), J.K. Simmons (Arve Støp), Chloë Sevigny (Sylvia Ottersen)

The Snowman has to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2017, especially considering the pedigree of the talent involved and that it was based on one of Norway's best-selling novels.

An earlier film based on a Jo Nesbø novel was 2012's Headhunters, which was incredibly well received and amongst my personal favourites of the year, unfortunately quality did not follow suit.

The plot did have promise and the marketing trailer delivered intrigue, but the execution of the film itself failed on many levels, particularly with the editing, which is a shock considering one of the editors was the esteemed Thelma Schoonmaker (Martin Scorsese's regular choice). The acting is fine, but there are too many cameos which go nowhere, as though they were intended to be a red herring, but this doesn't come off well at all and doesn't serve to build tension or suspense.

Michael Fassbender plays an alcoholic detective whose latest case follows a serial killer who leaves clues to where his next crime will be committed and he leaves a snowman with his victim's dismembered body parts attached, unfortunately this doesn't play anywhere near as creepy as it should. 

There could have been a good murder mystery here, but it felt like studio involvement had caused reshoots and a hashed final cut.

Perhaps it would have been better had it been filmed in its native Norwegian. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if this was simply a victim of the original prose becoming lost in translation. 


Michael Fassbender in The Snowman
Michael Fassbender in The Snowman